Unvaccinated individuals who would be caught outdoors will not be arrested, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) clarified on Monday, Jan 10.

However, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año warned that stubborn unvaccinated individuals resisting the barangay officials’ order will be forced to return home.

DILG Sec. Eduardo Año (photo: DILG)

“Ang ating mga barangay captains at mga kapulisan ay magsasagawa ng mga checkpoints. Kung ikaw ay hindi bakunado, pauuwiin ka, ‘yun lang naman. Pero kung ikaw ay magre-resist ay talagang sapilitan kang iuuwi (Our barangay captains and the police will set-up checkpoints. If you are unvaccinated, you will be asked to go home, that’s all. But if you resist, you will really be forcibly brought back home),’’ Año explained in an interview over GMA News’ Unang Balita.

he said checkpoints were installed to restrict the mobility of the unvaccinated people in light of the rapid rise of COVID-19 cases believed to be caused by the highly transmissive omicron variant.

On Jan 6, President Duterte directed barangay officials to ensure that their unvaccinated constituents remain home and arrest them if they insist on going outdoors despite his order.

“Ang ibig sabihin naman nito ay ili-limit natin ang kilos ng mga hindi bakunado na dapat ay sa bahay lang muna sila habang meron tayong (COVID-19) surge, habang nagaganap itong biglang maramihang transmission (This means that we will limit the mobility of the unvaccinated individuals who should stay home momentarily while there is a surge, while this sudden vast transmission is happening),’’ Año said.

Earlier, Año stated that the arrest of the defiant unvaccinated people by barangay officials should only be the “last resort’’ and must be enforced ‘within the bounds of the law.’’

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra added that the unvaccinated persons who are outside their residences without valid reasons under the ordinances of their local government units will only be arrested if they resist or fight with the persons in authority.

“If they wish to go outdoors then they should get their vaccines,” said Año.

Meanwhile, Año warned that persons who would be caught in possession of fake vaccination cards at checkpoints may be arrested by the police or face charges such as fabrication of false documents among others.

“Yes. Pupuwede na siyang hulihin diyan sapagkat caught in the act siya na meron siyang dala dala na fake na document (Yes, they can now be apprehended there because they were caught in the act of being in the possession of fake documents),’’ Año said.

On Jan. 9, DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya lamented that barangay officials who fail to restrict the movement of their unvaccinated constituents will face appropriate charges. (Chito A. Chavez)

Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2022/01/10/no-arrest-for-unvaxxed-individuals-ano/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=no-arrest-for-unvaxxed-individuals-ano)