Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima slammed Mr. Duterte for causing panic among unvaccinated people and triggering chaos in the vaccination sites in Manila when he ordered authorities to bar those who refused coronavirus vaccines from leaving houses.
De Lima said Duterte should “shape up or shut up,” lamenting how the current administration makes it a point not only to send mixed signals, but also spread disinformation, amid the current global health crisis where there is no room for equivocal messaging.
“Instead of helping organize the vaccination efforts, Duterte spreads disinformation, causing panic and most likely, super spreader events in the vaccination centers themselves,” De Lima said.
“Wala na ngang naitutulong, gumawa pa ng gulo,” she added.
Last July 28, during a meeting with pandemic task force officials, Duterte said that he wants police and barangay captains to restrict the movement of people who refuse coronavirus vaccines.
“Ang mga barangay captain na lang, ‘pag ayaw nila magpabakuna ‘wag silang palabasin ng bahay,” Duterte said. “Pag lumabas kayo ng bahay, sabihin ko sa mga pulis, ibalik ka doon sa bahay mo.
In mid-June, the President also said he would order the arrest of people refusing to get vaccinated.
“Imbes na bakuna, mas malamang na Delta ang nakuha ng mga nagkagulo sa mga vaccination centers sa Metro Manila. Sino ang nag-umpisa ng tsismis? Sabi ni Roque, Nograles, at Guevarra, nawalan lang daw ng pasensya ang Pangulo kaya niya nasabi na ipapaaresto niya ang mga wala pang bakuna,” she said.
De Lima further stated: “Mga ginoo, ubos na rin ang pasensya namin sa inyong boss. Kung wala na siyang maidudulot pa sa gobyerno at sa taumbayan kung hindi kaguluhan at kapahamakan, baka puwede ninyo namang sabihan na manahimik na lang muna siya.”
Notably, a few days after Duterte’s pronouncement last Aug. 5, thousands of Filipinos flocked vaccination sites in several parts of Metro Manila in the middle of curfew hours. Some people reportedly said they panicked when they heard rumors about “no vaccine, no ayuda (cash aid)”, fearing they would miss out on the distribution of aid during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila from Aug. 6 to 20.
Others said they rushed to vaccine sites after hearing that some employers would impose a “no jab, no work” policy.
De Lima said the Duterte administration “was bound to be a Fake News Government,” which is the reason why it recruited Mocha Uson and Harry Roque as its foremost mouthpieces.
“They replicate Duterte’s own methods in mindless chaos,” said De Lima.
“Duterte causes panic among the unvaccinated populace, triggering chaos all over the Metro. These mouthpieces say he was just exasperated. We all know that every time Duterte is exasperated, people are bound to die. Just look at the drug war, and his exasperation with the communists,” she added.