SC asked to halt implementation of policies, issuances of mandatory COVID-19 vaccination

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 13) — Concerned groups composed of professionals including doctors, scientists, teachers, employees, and religious leaders file a petition before the Supreme Court to immediately stop the implementation of policies and government issuances on mandatory vaccination against COVID-19.

"The governmental acts being challenged herein enforce vaccine mandates that 'responsibilize' citizens by conditioning them to perform their 'moral obligation' through COVID-19 vaccination and coercing them to get vaccinated under pain of penalty," the petitioners said.

Named respondents are the Interagency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Ano, Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade, and Makati City represented by Mayor Abby Binay.

In the petition, the group asked to "declare illegal and unconstitutional" regulations and ordinances as these are being "contrary to law", specifically IATF Resolution No. 148-B that requires on-site workers to be fully-vaccinated against COVID-19.

Other IATF resolutions they seek to stop enforcement are the following: mandatory face-to-face classes, requirement of RT-PCR test for on-site work, presentation of proof of full vaccination, and limitation on the movement of unvaccinated individuals.

The petitioners also asked the high court to ensure that those who submit themselves for vaccination "do so freely, voluntarily, and intelligently, after a written acknowledgment that they have been advised of all the possible side effects of the vaccines on their health and of their full understanding thereof."

Direct respondents are also asked to make all officially recognized side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines and all adverse events reported after vaccination available to the public and widely disseminated in various forms of media.

Health authorities have been assuring the public that vaccines are safe as it went through studies and tests.

The government also continues with its vaccination program including the inoculation of booster shots for eligible individuals.