PNP warns anti-vaxxers vs holding mass action to protest COVID vaccination

Published August 4, 2021, 11:44 AM

by Aaron Recuenco 

The Philippine National Police (PNP) warned a group of anti-COVID vaccination to refrain from pursuing its plan of holding mass action aimed at protesting the government’s ongoing free vaccination from the deadly virus.

PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar said the same group has been encouraging netizens to join them in the protest actions which it said would be conducted this month.

“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,” said Eleazar.

Eleazar made the statement after some netizens informed him, and are seeking police action, about the social media mobilization of some people who do not believe in the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) for the conduct of a rally to protest the ongoing vaccination of the national government. Police officials did not provide details of the information relayed to Eleazar.

President Duterte earlier approved the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) 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. 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 (We are now trying to find out if there are existing laws that would be violated for police action. But we hope that we do not have to go that way. We are appealing to them not to puruse their plan because we will not allow them especially under ECQ),” said Eleazar.

“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 stressed.