President Rodrigo Duterte ordered barangay captains to look for unvaccinated residents and asked them to stay home amid the spike in COVID-19 cases believed to be due to the Omicron variant.
During his weekly Talke to the People, Duterte said he is authorized as Chief Executive in a national emergency to order the limited movement of the unvaccinated.
“In the absence of a law, the President is called upon to act, and because it is a national emergency, it is my position that we can restrain,” Duterte said.
The President added that barangay captains could enforce all the laws of the land “within his community.”
“I am now giving orders to the barangay captains to look for those persons who are not vaccinated and just request them or order them if you may to stay put,” Duterte said.
Duterte said barangay chairpersons could arrest unvaccinated residents if they refused to cooperate.
“If he refuses, if he goes out of the house and goes around the community or wherever magpunta, he can be restrained. If he refuses, the barangay captain being a person of authority, have the power to arrest,” Duterte said.
Duterte orders barangay captains to arrest unvaxxed residents
Duterte also ordered barangay captains to tap civilians to help restrict the movement of unvaccinated people.
“And a person in authority, the barangay captain, can also mobilize civilians and give them the task, probably written, called upon to assist the persons of authority they become agents of persons of authority,” Duterte said.
Meanwhile, Duterte said he would welcome any charges which may be filed against him over his order to restrain the unvaccinated.
“That is my position… They can file cases I’d be happy to answer,” Duterte said.
“Mayroon naman akong kaso naman ako sa ICC, e’di ipatong na lang ninyo,” he added.
“But as I hate to say these words being the president, ultimately, I am responsible for the safety and well-being of every Filipino,” Duterte said.
“That is why my orders are to restrain them,” he added.