Don’t mess up COVID vaccine distribution, Duterte warns cops

Published August 2, 2020, 1:39 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

President Duterte has warned police officers who will supervise the distribution and administration of COVID-19 vaccines that they will go to jail if they mess up.

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.

Duterte made the statement as he assured the public that there was nothing to worry about and that the vaccine may reach Philippine shores by December this year.

In his public address aired Friday, Duterte gave the responsibility of supervising the fair distribution and administration of the vaccines to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) but warned them to not cause any problem.

“Mga pulis pakinggan ninyong mabuti ha: Ayaw ko nang — ayaw ko nang magkaatraso kayo dito. (To the cops, you better listen: I don’t want you to cause any trouble here),” he said.

“‘Pag kayo nagkaatraso, nagkamali, kulong talaga kayo (If you err here, I will send you to jail),” he added.

He even warned them to not sell the vaccines or he will hunt them down and “kill” them. The President has promised that the vaccine will be free and that the priority recipients are the beneficiaries of the government’s social amelioration program.

Meanwhile, Duterte called on nurses who are not working and volunteers to administer the vaccines in police stations and the military camps once they arrive.

“May mga nurses ‘yan, and volunteers, I am asking, iyong mga nurse na walang trabaho (There should be nurses and volunteers there. I’m asking you, especially those who have no work now),” he said.

“Tutal bakuna na ito, hindi naman ito ‘yung may COVID. Basta mag-mask lang kayo and, of course, gloves (After all we’re talking about vaccines now and not COVID-19. Just wear your masks and, of course, gloves),” he added.

Duterte has expressed his admiration for the Chinese government after it publicly stated that the Philippines is one of its priority recipients of the COVID-19 vaccines it is developing.

Last week, Duterte revealed that he appealed to President Xi Jinping to let the Philippines be one of the first vaccines to acquire their vaccines for COVID-19, a disease that originated from China.