Duterte threatens vaccine decliners with jail
June 23 2021 12:27 AM
Rodrigo Duterte
(File photo) Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte

Reuters/ Manila

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, frustrated by the slow pace of Covid-19 vaccinations in his country, threatened people who refuse to get inoculated with jail or an injection of Ivermectin, an anti-parasite drug widely used to treat animals.
Ivermectin has been touted as an alternative treatment for Covid-19 but US and European regulators and the World Health Organisation (WHO) have recommended against it.
“You choose, vaccine or I will have you jailed,” Duterte said in a televised address, following reports of low turnout at several vaccination sites in the capital Manila. “But for as long as you are here and you are a human being, and can carry the virus, get vaccinated.
“Otherwise, I will order all the village captains to have a tally of the people who refuse to be vaccinated. Because if not, I will have Ivermectin meant for animals injected into you.”
Duterte is famous for his bellicose rhetoric and his remarks contradicted those of his health officials, who have said getting vaccinated against Covid is voluntary. “Don’t get me wrong, there is a crisis in this country,” Duterte said.”I’m just exasperated by Filipinos not heeding the government.”  With over 1.3mn cases, the Philippines is fighting one of Asia’s must stubborn Covid-19 epidemics.
In the same televised address, he took a swipe at the International Criminal Court, after an ICC prosecutor sought permission from the court for a full inquiry into thousands of killings by police in a war on drugs ordered by Duterte.
Duterte, who cancelled the Philippines’ membership of the ICC’s founding treaty, said he would not co-operate with the probe.
“Why would I defend or face an accusation before white people. You must be crazy,” he said.

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