De Lima alarmed over DILG directive to submit list of unvaccinated


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Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima expressed alarm over the directive of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) ordering barangays to submit an inventory of unvaccinated persons in their localities.

De Lima, former Chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), said such directive may embolden authorities to abuse the information in their hands. 

“I have serious concerns on DILG’s directive for barangays to make a list of the unvaxxed, as it has high potential for privacy rights and other human rights violations, especially given how this administration weaponized so-called ‘drug lists’ as ‘Tokhang lists,’” she said in a statement posted on Twitter.

“I echo the constant call of CHR to always infuse respect for human rights in all pandemic-related policy decisions,” she added.

DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya reportedly said DILG Secretary Eduardo Año has already issued a Memorandum Circular ordering barangays to identify and submit a list of residents still unvaccinated against COVID-19.

Such move is said to be in line with Mr. Duterte’s order to restrict the movement of unvaccinated individuals amid the surge of COVID-19 infections in the country.

It may be recalled that, in his televised address to the nation, Duterte ordered barangay captains to identify unvaccinated people in their communities and restrain them from stepping out of their residences.

Amid the continued surge in COVID-19 cases in the country, De Lima said the last thing people need is for Duterte to resort to threatening people with arrest as if they are incapable of understanding social responsibility and could only respond to threats of harm and violence.

Ang nakalulungkot, kung kailan kailangan nating magkaisa ay saka pa magsasalita ang Pangulo nang padalos-dalos, by recklessly ordering the arrest of the unvaccinated who leave their houses,” De Lima said in a Commentary on the policy to restrict the movements of the unvaccinated.

“Sige nga? Saan mo dadalhin ang mga aarestuhin mo? Sa siksik na mga kulungan na hindi mo inintindi nitong huling anim na taon, tulad ng pagpapabaya mo sa ating public healthcare system?” she asked.

De Lima further said: “This is the same President who thought Filipinos could be responsible enough to handle the rapid rollback of safety measures and restrictions over the Christmas and New Year holidays.”

Moreover, De Lima stressed that now is not the time to pit the vaccinated against the unvaccinated, and much less for the President to resort to threats or violence to hide his failures in mass testing, contact tracing, and address issues on vaccine hesitancy.

Kailangan natin magkaisa – kahit gaano pa tayo sinisira, pinahihina at pinag-aaway ng kapalpakan at walang saysay na pananalita ng isang Rodrigo Duterte,” she said.

“This is not a ‘war’ against an enemy that can be defeated by violence. This is a fight for survival that can only be won by unity,” she added. (30)

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