Duterte just exasperated: No arrest policy for those refusing vaccination – Nograles
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte was just airing his “exasperation” when he warned that those refusing to get vaccinated against COVID-19 could be arrested, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said during One News’ “The Chiefs” on Tuesday night.
“As far as arresting those who won’t get vaccinated, we have no such policy,” Nograles said, speaking partly in Filipino. “When the President said that, I think he already explained that he said it in the context of, as it were, a sense of exasperation.”
“He just could not understand some of our countrymen. The means to get vaccinated are present. There is the opportunity of getting vaccinated, but they still are not convinced or refuse to get vaccinated,” Nograles added.
In his weekly Monday night briefing, Duterte warned that those who refuse vaccination could get arrested.
“If you don’t want to get vaccinated, I will have you arrested. And I will inject the vaccine in your butt. [CURSES]. You are pests. We are already suffering and you’re adding to the burden,” Duterte said, speaking partly in Filipino.
Several senators have already questioned the president’s warning, with one saying many Filipinos would want to get vaccinated but the vaccine supply remained to be the “biggest problem.”
Nograles said, however, that the chief executive was just trying to protect the Filipino public like a “father of the family.”
“So, in terms of a father of the family, in effect, father of the nation, we all understand that we need to protect the most vulnerable — and that’s basically senior citizens and those with comorbidities,” he said.
“So it’s as if in a sense of exasperation [Duterte asked]: What do we need to do? Do we need to make arrests so that we can protect you? Because that’s what we are avoiding. The reason why we’re going for the senior citizens and those with comorbidities as our priority is because they’re the most vulnerable,” Nograles added.
Asked if arresting those who refuse vaccination could be considered in the future considering the need to protect people amid a “national emergency,” Nograles echoed the Palace stand, saying that a law would be needed to implement it.
“It’s a special circumstance. We’re in a time of pandemic and right now,” Nograles said. “We have not seen any other country do that. Perhaps it may not be something that we will consider in light of the fact that other countries are not doing that yet.”
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