News Release

‘Live longer or die,’ President Duterte warns unvaccinated individuals

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte presides over a meeting with the National Task Force against Coronavirus Disease-2019 (NTF COVID-19) and medical experts on the new COVID-19 variant at the Malacañang Palace on November 29, 2021. TOTO LOZANO/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

People hesitant of getting COVID-19 shot have to chose between living longer and dying early from complication as a result of COVID-19 infection, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte said on Monday.

“I mean no offense, pero ‘yung ayaw magpabakuna, madali lang man ‘yan. Mamila ka, matagal kang mabuhay o gusto mo nang mamatay,” he said.

“’Pag kumapit ‘yang COVID na ‘yan, hindi pa natin alam itong microbe, patay na,” President Duterte warned during his regular Talk to the People.

“‘Pag nahawa ka talaga there is nothing you can do, kung sa opsital na lalo na pasukan na ‘yung tubo ‘yung mukha mo,” he said.

The President convened a meeting with an expert group advising the government on pandemic response amid the threat of COVID-19 Omicron variant, which was detected in several countries.

Unvaccinated individuals are more vulnerable, he said, recounting he hasn’t seen a time in his life in which many people he knows, friends and acquaintances, die after being infected by the coronavirus.

It is unfair for unvaccinated people not to be mindful of their status and expose others if they contract the virus, he said, stressing vaccination is a public health issue.

“It’s unfair. It’s actually to protect public health,” he said.

The President said he may agree with the Task Force if it decides to make immunization mandatory to protect public health.

The government, having ministerial functions, can issue measures that would protect public health, public safety, and public order, he argued. “In some countries, mandatory na. Dito, maingay ang Human Rights.”

And for those insisting not to get inoculated, President Duterte advised them to stay home and avoid mingling with others in public places.

“Wala mang problema na ayaw kang magpabakuna. Huwag kang lumabas ng bahay. Kasi ‘pag nahawa ka, ah diretso hawa ulit,” he said

“There is no guarantee that you will not get contaminated again, that has been said several times and impressed upon us by the medical experts na mahawa ka ulit.” PND