De Lima to Duterte: Follow VP's lead in nudging people to get vaccinated

Published June 25, 2021, 12:30 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Opposition Senator Leila de Lima on Friday said President Duterte should follow Vice President Leni Robredo’s lead in encouraging Filipinos to get vaccinated against COVID-19 without threatening of putting them to jail.

“VP Leni is encouraging a lot of people to be inoculated without threatening arrest. Duterte should follow her lead,” De Lima said in her latest statement.

De Lima, a staunch critic of Duterte also reminded the Chief Executive that he cannot just order his underlings to arrest anyone without legal basis.

“That would be plain injustice. And that would make him and the police who followed his unjust orders liable for Unlawful Arrest under Art. 269 of the Revised Penal Code,” said De Lima, a former justice secretary.

De Lima said that as a lawyer, Duterte should be the first to know that there has to be law in place before they arrest people who refuse to get inoculated.

“Before he brags about being a lawyer, he should first know the law. Last we checked it is still Rule of Law here in the Philippines, not Rule of Duterte,” she reiterated.

“Of course, there has to be a law before they could arrest people who refuse to be vaccinated. That’s how democracy works!” she added.

“After all their drama on the Dengvaxia dengue vaccines before, now they resort tk threatening people who refuse to get vaccinated! And they want to arrest those who refuse to?” she pointed out.

De Lima lamented that that freshman law student knows the doctrine Nullum crimen sine lege: “There is no crime if there is no law punishing it.”

She said such is even included in general principles of criminal law in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

” Duterte should familiarize himself with it because he will be dealing with it in the very near future,” she stressed.

“Perhaps the discussion should not be whether we could enact a law to punish those who refuse to be vaccinated, but whether we should,” De Lima said.