PHILIPPINE National Police chief General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar discouraged Filipinos who don’t believe in the government’s COVID-19 vaccination program to drop their plan of holding mass protests amid the threat posed by the deadly Delta variant.
The top cop issued the appeal amid information forward to his office about the presence of some netizens who are mobilizing their fellow anti-vaccine believers to conduct rallies to protest the ongoing vaccination program of the national government.
“Nakarating sa aking kaalaman ang pang-hihimok ng ilan nating kababayan sa social media na samahan sila sa isang planong magsagawa ng malawakang protesta laban sa isinasagawang free vaccination ng ating pamahalaan,” Gen. Eleazar said.
“While we respect the right of the people to freedom of expression and even the decision of some people to refuse vaccination, encouraging our kababayan to do something that would compromise public health is a different matter,” he added.
President Duterte earlier approved the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of the Emerging Infectious Diseases to place Metro Manila under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) from August 6-20 in order to contain the spread of the Delta variant of the COVID-19.
Part of the measure is stricter border control and the implementation of longer curfew hours, from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. in Metro Manila during the entire ECQ period.
“Tinitingnan nating ngayon kung mayroong bang paglabag sa batas ang ganitong gawain para sa aming aksyon pero sana ay huwag na nating paabutin pa sa ganoong sitwasyon,” said Gen. Eleazar.
The PNP chief stressed that the plan to stage a mass protest by anti-vaccine people will endanger public health amid the threat of the Delta variant which triggered serious public health problems in India and some parts of the world.
“Hinihikayat natin ang mga kababayan nating ito na huwag nang ituloy ang kanilang plano dahil hindi natin papayagan ito lalo na sa panahon ng ECQ. Your right to hold protest actions ends when the right of the most number of our kababayan to be safe from COVID-19 starts,” he said.