Duterte tells Abu Sayyaf: Go to military camps to get COVID-19 shots
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte said Saturday that members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) can go to military camps to be vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2, the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
Duterte said this as he let out an outburst against the New People’s Army during his meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
He reiterated that the COVID-19 vaccines will be made available to every Filipino.
“Hingi ako ng tawad sa body (IATF) for the outburst. Hindi ko mapigilan ang sarili ko because we arrive at this issue on whether they (NPA) should be vaccinated. All Filipinos [will be vaccinated]. Ang Abu Sayyaf, mag-report lang kayo sa military, sila ang magbakuna sa inyo,” Duterte said.
(I apologize to the IATF for the outburst. I could not control myself because we arrived at this issue on whether they should be vaccinated. All Filipinos [will be vaccinated]. Even Abu Sayyaf members, you can report to the military and the soldiers will be the ones to vaccinate you.)
He said that the vaccines will be made available even to communist rebels “in the name of humanity.”
“The vaccine is available to every Filipino citizen including the communist NPAs so that you can fight better and you are healthy because I know that you will die kapag hindi talaga kayo nag[surrender]… Mamamatay talaga kayo lahat (You will all die),” he added.
“We will make it available to you. In the name of humanity we will not deny, pero just to make you healthy so that you will die kapag hindi kayo naghinto (if you will not stop),” he also said.
The President made this remark as the Communist Party of the Philippines celebrates its 52nd founding anniversary also on Saturday.
During the meeting, Duterte also defended the government’s plan to include police officers and soldiers among those who will be prioritized in the vaccination program against COVID-19.
He said the police and the military should be in good health at all times because they are responsible for law enforcement and maintaining peace and order in the country.
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