Duterte to give free anti-COVID vaccines even to Reds

Published July 31, 2020, 12:17 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte is willing to give coronavirus vaccines to communist rebels if they will stop fighting the government troops until December.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talks to the people after holding a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on July 30, 2020. ROBINSON NIÑAL JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

In his televised address Friday, the President asked the New People’s Army (NPA) rebels not to harm the government troops who will be assigned to supervise the vaccine distribution program as soon as the supplies are available.

Duterte made the statement amid high hopes the vaccine to the dreaded viral illness may be available before the end of the year.

“Yung mga NPA pabakunahan ko ba? If you stop fighting for a while during the period or until December kasi my soldiers will be busy monitoring, supervising, huwag lang ninyo galawin, pwede kayong sumali at pumila doon (Will I let the NPA be vaccinated? If you stop fighting for a while during the period or until December because my soldiers will be busy monitoring, supervising, do not harm them and you may join and fall in line),” Duterte said.

“Even if you announce that you are an NPA, it’s okay. Pagamot ka muna o pa-vaccinate ka, para mahusay kang lumaban sa puwersa ko (Have yourself treated or vaccinated so you can have the strength to fight government forces),” he added.

Duterte, however, made it clear that his pronouncement was not a declaration of a unilateral ceasefire with the communist rebels.

He said he made the appeal to “allow the normal process of helping the country.”

Duterte said he is ready to help the rebels “as a matter of humanity because it is not our money, and because you are a Filipino.”

“Post-COVID na tayo mag-away ulit (Let’s fight again post-COVD). I am just telling you, stop it and allow the normal process of helping the country,” he said.

The President has remained hopeful about the potential coronavirus vaccine by December, citing the efforts in vaccine development by China. He appreciated China’s gesture to prioritize the country’s request for vaccine access.

Once the coronavirus vaccines are available, the government plans to purchase the supply and prioritize the poorest of the poor in the vaccination program.

Duterte said he wants the military to supervise the vaccine distribution program “to remove partisanship, favoritism, and petty corruption.” “However you do it, I don’t care. I just want unified monitoring and supervising. We intend to vaccinate every Filipino for that matter,” he said.

 
CLICK HERE TO SIGN-UP
 

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

["national","news","news"]
[2080661,2877827,2877824,2877806,2877784,2877778,2877781]