Philippines populist President, Rodrigo Duterte is making headlines again with his iron fist statements and declarations.
With increasing vaccine hesitancy on the archipelago, Duterte outrageously said yesterday, “To protect the people, I have to sequester you in jail. Now choose — get vaccinated, or I’ll lock you up in a cell.”
“Kung ayaw mo magpabakuna, ipaaresto kita at ang bakuna, itusok ko sa puwet mo. Putang ina, bwisit kayo” —translated: (If you don’t want to get vaccinated, I’ll have you arrested then I’ll inject a vaccine into your buttocks.)
The irate leader continued: “If you don’t get vaccinated, leave the Philippines. Go to India if you want, or somewhere, America.”
Duterte even threatened to inject them with the version of anti-parasitic medicine Ivermectin intended for animals.
But of course, not getting the vaccine is not against the law and Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said Tuesday that the Philippine Congress could pass a law to compel vaccinations.
In addition, Duterte turned tail on an order that face shields are not required outdoors and in the course of hours, it was declared mandatory again, causing more confusion and calls of flip-flopping.
The turnaround was based on advice from health experts and in view of the Delta variant.
The pandemic in the Philippines has seen 1,367,894 infections to date, including 23, 809 deaths.