Philippines' Duterte threatens vaccine decliners with jail, animal drug

Rodrigo Duterte: What to know about the controversial Philippines president

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte an anti-establishment crusader and a ruthless fighter for the war on drugs, is known for his brash and populist style. Learn about the Philippine President’s rise to the highest office and his robust policy agenda.

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, frustrated by the slow pace of COVID-19 vaccinations in his country, threatened people who refuse to get inoculated with jail or an injection of Ivermectin, an anti-parasite drug widely used to treat animals.

Ivermectin has been touted as an alternative treatment for COVID-19 but U.S. and European regulators and the World Health Organization (WHO) have recommended against it.

“You choose, vaccine or I will have you jailed,” Duterte said in a televised address late on Monday, following reports of low turnout at several vaccination sites in the capital Manila.

“But for as long as you are here and you are a human being, and can carry the virus, get vaccinated.

“Otherwise, I will order all the village captains to have a tally of the people who refuse to be vaccinated. Because if not, I will have Ivermectin meant for pigs injected into you.”

Human rights groups say authorities have summarily executed drug suspects, but Duterte maintains those killed had violently resisted arrest.

Asked for comment, ICC court spokesperson Fadi El Abdallah said: “The court is an independent judicial institution, and does not comment on political statements”.

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