President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday instructed authorities to keep inside their homes persons who refuse to get vaccinated against COVID-19, saying they were "walking spreaders."
In his second nationally televised address this week after his final State of the Nation Address on Monday, Duterte ordered the police and barangay officials to escort unvaccinated people back to their homes and not let them roam around.
"Itong ayaw magbakuna, sinasabi ko sa inyo, 'wag kayong lumabas ng bahay kasi 'pag lumabas kayo, sabihin ko sa mga pulis na ibalik kayo sa bahay niyo because you are a walking spreader," Duterte said.
[These people who don't want to get vaccinated, I'm telling you, don't bother going out because if you do go out, I'll tell the police to bring you back to your homes because you are walking spreaders.]
"Kaya kung ayaw ninyo makatulong by having the vaccines, 'wag na lang kayo lumabas ng bahay," he added.
[If you don't want to help by having the vaccines, then don't go out.]
Duterte said the national government is "defenseless" when it comes to punitive action against those who refuse to be vaccinated.
"Sabihin natin walang batas, eh hintay pa ba ako sa batas kung marami nanaman ang mamamatay? Yan ang problema [We say there's no law, but am I going to have to wait for a law when once more many people are going to die? that's the problem]. There is no law, but the law of necessity is there," he said.
Duterte added that he would be answerable if any court action is taken against his order for the unvaccinated to stay home.
"Ayaw mong magpabakuna tapos, eh, sabihin ko ako na mismo ang sasagot niyan, kung may idemanda ako na. 'Yan ang utos ko, ibalik ka doon sa bahay mo. 'Yan ang utos ni Mayor. Kung magdemanda ka balang araw, idemanda mo siya. Harapin ko 'yan. I assume full responsibility for that."
[It's my order to bring you back to your home. That's the Mayor's order. If you want to file a complaint one day, I'll face it.]
He said it is the job of barangay captains to make sure unvaccinated individuals stay in their households.
"Trabaho talaga ng barangay captain 'yan eh [It's the barangay captains' job] to go around and see who are vaccinated and who are not and to give the appropriate warning that they should not be going around because they are throwing viruses left and right," he said.
Duterte also ordered local government units to give the COVID-19 vaccines allotted to hesitant individuals to those who want it instead.
"'Yong ayaw, 'wag nang hintayin [Don't wait for those who don't want it]. Let's give it to the people who want it. Those who do not want it, for all I care you can die any time sa totoo lang [to be honest]," he said.
A total of 17,202,421 doses have been administered as of July 25, the Department of Health said.
Of this number, 11,113,107 shots were for the first dose while 6,089,314 were for the second dose.
The country has so far reported 1,566,667 cases of COVID-19 including 1,484,714 recoveries and 27,401 deaths. — BM, GMA News