LGUs warned against discriminating unvaxxed

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PUBLIC Attorney’s Office (PAO) chief Persida Rueda-Acosta on Saturday appealed to authorities, particularly the local chief executives, to stop discriminating against the unvaccinated people in the absence of a law on mandatory Covid 19 vaccination.

Rueda-Acosta made the appeal on her social media page wherein she urged government officials especially those from the local government units (LGUs) to be considerate of the rights of people who have chosen not to get inoculated.

PAO chief Persida Rueda-Acosta. TMT File photo

PAO chief Persida Rueda-Acosta. TMT File photo

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“Let us not discriminate the unvaccinated. There is no mandate yet for the compulsory vaccination for Covid-19; there is no law yet,” she said.

Rueda-Acosta, whose agency is primarily tasked to assist indigent litigants, stressed that it was unlawful to deprive the unvaccinated, especially from their work.

She warned them that they would be violating the Constitution and their human rights if they would force the people to get jabbed against their will.

“If a person would not want to get vaccinated for Covid-19, that’s his choice and that’s his right because that is his own body given to him by God, so he’s the only one who can decide for himself,” the PAO chief explained.

“I am begging you, don’t discriminate them,” she added.

She also advised barangay officials not to harass unvaccinated residents who leave their homes for work.

“To those in villages, please don’t discriminate your own people, let us respect their choice and their rights on how to protect themselves amid this Covid-19 pandemic, let us all be fair,” Rueda-Acosta said.

“We stand with PAO, we stand with the Philippines, we stand with the Constitution and the law,” she declared.

The PAO chief broke her silence after some people have sought her help following the discrimination they experience from their work and commercial establishments for reason that they chose not to be vaccinated.

By Monday, January 17, unvaccinated people would be barred from using public transportation and violators would be issued tickets according to an order from the Department of Transportation.

It said the move was not unconstitutional because it only restricts the use of public transport but not traveling using private vehicles.