Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte threatens to jail people who refuse to be vaccinated
With one of Asia's worst outbreaks, the Phillippines is scrambling to regain some control over the pandemics destruction. With 1.3 million cases and 23,000 deaths, President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to put people in jail if they refuse to take the vaccine.
“You choose, vaccine or I will have you jailed,” Duterte said. “Don’t get me wrong, there is a crisis in this country,” Duterte said. “I’m just exasperated by Filipinos not heeding the government.”
Despite Duterte's harsh warnings, government officials have previously said that the vaccine is voluntary. Of the 110 million people, the Philippines has only vaccinated 2.1 million, dramatically below their target of 70 million.
This news comes after international bodies have criticised his running of the pandemic effort. He previously refused to open schools and is also choosing not to co-operate with an international investigation.
JUST IN: President Rodrigo Duterte has agreed to discontinue the use of face shields and says it should only be used in hospitals, according to a tweet by Senate President Vicente Sotto III (@sotto_tito) this Thursday morning. | via @_katrinadomingo pic.twitter.com/5ojyxjStuS
— ABS-CBN News (@ABSCBNNews) June 16, 2021
Since his election in 2016, Duterte has launched a full-scale assault on the narcotics industry. Human Rights Watch reports that 12,000 Filipinos have been killed since the campaign began, with many of these being at the hands of police. On the eve of his election victory, the soon to be President said, “If I make it to the presidential palace, I will do just what I did as mayor. You drug pushers, holdup men, and do-nothings, you better get out because I'll kill you.”