What would make Duterte happy when he leaves Malacañang? A fully vaccinated population

President Duterte appealed to the public anew to get vaccinated against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), saying it would really make him happy to see that most, if not all, Filipinos are fully vaccinated when the time comes that he has to step down.

President Rodrigo Duterte (Malacañang photo)

Duterte made the statement as the government works on fully vaccinating 77 million adults against COVID-19 by the end of the first quarter of the year to ensure the safety of the voters in the 2022 elections.

In his late-night public address on Monday, February 14, the President noted that while a lot of Filipinos are choosing to be vaccinated, he noted there are still some who continue to refuse to take the jab.

He said he would happily exit the Malacañang grounds if the majority of Filipinos are fully vaccinated.

"Kaunti na lang naman, Ubusin na natin lahat, let's get over with this itong ano ninyo. Magpabakuna kayo at maligaya ako (There are only a few of them anyway so let's just get this over with. Get vaccinated and I will be very happy)," he said.

"Ako, ang sabihin ko lang (let me just tell you): If there is something that would make me happy when I go out of this office, maligaya ako kung malaman ko na halos lahat nagpabakuna (I will be happy if I find out that almost everyone is vaccinated)," he added.

In an attempt to convince those who are yet to get vaccinated, Duterte first tried to appeal to their emotions.

"'Wag nilang pahirapan ang sarili nila balang araw, mga anak, and your neighbors, of contaminating them 'pag tinamaan kayo (Do not let yourself suffer one day, including your children and neighbors by contaminating them when you get infected)," he said.

"Kaya ako halos na lang lumuluhod na magpabakuna kayo, at para naman malayo tayo sa perdisyon (That's why I'm almost always down on my knees asking you to get vaccinated so we will be spared from perdition)," he added

The President then tried to use science, saying the country was able to quickly address the recent surge in the number of cases because many people are vaccinated.

Duterte made another attempt but this time, he warned that he will personally insert the needle through the ears of those who refuse to get vaccinated just to get the job done.

"And for those who are not yet vaccinated, paki ano lang, pakibakuna lang. Kasi 'pag hindi, ako ang pupunta diyan sa inyo (please get vaccinated because if not, I will personally pay you a visit)," he said.

"Ituturok ko 'yang bakuna sa tainga mo, palusutin ko diyan sa kabila. 'Yan ang dapat sa inyo, eh (I will put it through your ears until it reaches the other side. That's what suits you)," he added.

President Duterte said it did not matter to him if his latest pronouncements get him in trouble with the International Criminal Court (ICC), a body that had launched an investigation on alleged human rights violations during his drug war.

"All of the things I did, hindi ito para sa akin kagaya ng bakuna kung matusok ko 'yan sa tainga mo (I didn't do them for me, like putting injecting the vaccines through your ears)," he said.

"So nakikiusap ako na magpabakuna na kayo. Kasi 'yang bakuna 'pag hindi niyo gamitin, itutusok ko talaga diyan sa tainga niyo (So I'm asking you to please get vaccinated. Because if not, I will really jab you in your ear)," he added.

"I am pleading to you on behalf of government na mahinto na sana itong COVID (that we can finally put an end to COVID-19). The only way to do it is if most, or not all, Filipinos are vaccinated," he continued.

Data from the National COVID-19 Vaccination Dashboard showed that as of February 9, a total of 60,013,407 individuals have completed their vaccinations.