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Duterte: “Get vaccinated or I’ll send you to jail”

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to jail people who refuse to get vaccinated against the coronavirus as the country battles one of the worst outbreaks of the disease in Asia, reports Reuters.

“You choose: get vaccinated or I will send you to jail,” the Philippine president said in a televised speech on Monday after reports of low turnout at various vaccination sites in the nation’s capital, Manila.

The Philippines, whose population reaches 110 million people, has recorded more than 1.3 million COVID-19 cases and 23,000 deaths since the pandemic began. Meanwhile, only 2.1 million citizens have been vaccinated.

“Don’t get me wrong, there is a crisis in this country. I am exasperated because Filipinos don’t listen to the government“Duterte said, after contradicting his health officials who had assured that vaccination is voluntary.

The Filipino leader, who has been criticized for his harsh approach to curbing the spread of the virus, also upheld his decision not to reopen schools. He also criticized the International Criminal Court (ICC) after a prosecutor from the agency requested permission to carry out a full investigation into the murders of the war on drugs in the Philippines.

Duterte, who canceled the Philippines’ membership in the founding ICC treaty in March 2018, repeated that he will not cooperate with the investigation, describing the court as “nonsense.”

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