PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night acknowledged that those who refuse to get vaccinated against COVID-19 cannot be arrested, saying there is “democracy” in the country.
“Kayong mga ayaw magpabakuna, okay lang sa akin. Ganito ‘yan eh, ideally talagang — kung talagang — what would we say, pilitin ng gobyerno, but this is a democracy. We cannot arrest you if you go out or I cannot enforce totally a rule unless, of course, ‘yung mga sa mga barangay,” he said in a pre-recorded talk to the people.
Duterte, however, warned that COVID-19 may just “circulate in the air for years” if they refuse to get vaccinated and observe minimum public health standards.
“I think, for the next how many years, hindi na mawala ‘yan. Iyon na ang style. Wala na tayo ‘yung sabing pasyal ng gabi, wala na (it won’t go away. That’s already the style. We can’t go out at night anymore),” he said.
Despite his remark, Duterte encouraged the public to get their COVID-19 jabs as soon as possible.
“A Our only defense is to observe physical distancing, stay home), tapos wash your hands, do not go out when it is not necessary. Bakuna, kung mayroong bakuna — as long as there is a supply nearby na ang punta ninyo, magpabakuna na kaagad kayo para sigurado,” he added. Philippine News Agency