President Rodrigo Duterte said Friday that the government would not give COVID-19 vaccine to drug pushers.
“Drug pusher, wala kayo [you don’t have vaccine],” Duterte said in a public address aired Friday.
Duterte said he would instead give the vaccine to poor communities than to drug pushers and drug lords who he called “dogs.”
“‘Yun ang utos ko. ‘Yan ang gusto ko. Hindi maganda? Hindi talaga maganda. Mga tao, hindi pala tao sila, tingin ko [sa] mga drug pusher, drug lord, aso. Tingin ko sa kanila… hindi ako magtulong sa inyo, sinisira niyo ang Pilipinas, pinapatay niyo ang tao,” he said.
(That’s what I want. It’s not really good. They are not humans. I see them as dogs. I will not help you. You are destroying the Philippines. You are killing people.)
According to recent reports, 21 inmates at the Bureau of Corrections already died of COVID-19. At least nine of them were convicted of or linked to drug offenses.
Duterte to prioritize the poor for COVID-19 vaccine
Duterte said in the same briefing that he would prioritize the poor Filipinos once the vaccine becomes available.
The middle-income citizens then will follow, as well as the military and police, whom Duterte called the “backbone” of his administration.
“Ang una talaga ‘yung mga tao sa listahan na tumatanggap ng assistance sa gobyerno. Ngayon, pangalawa, ‘yung middle income. Libre ito, hindi ko ito ipagbili,” Duterte said.
(The first ones on the list are those who are receiving assistance from the government. The second would be those with middle income. This is free. This is not for sale.)
As for those who are rich, Duterte said, “‘Yung mga mayaman, ‘wag ninyo akong isipin, kasi hindi ako nag-iisip sa inyo… Kayo ang maka-afford.”
(Those who are rich, don’t think of me because I don’t think about you. You can afford the vaccine.)
“‘Yung mga upper income, bumili na lang kayo,” he said later on in the address.
(Those who have upper income, buy your own vaccine.)
Beijing assured the country of COVID-19 vaccine after the President said he “made a plea” to Chinese President Xi Jinping during his fifth State of the Nation Address last Monday.