A Philippines court has issued an international arrest warrant for Bill Gates, as part of an investigation into the Covid-19 vaccination roll-out in the territory.
Excess deaths have spiked in the aftermath of the vaccination drive in the Philippines with hundreds of thousands of citizens dying unnecessarily and many more injured and maimed, according to prosecutors.
The judge said Gates, as the founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is “wanted in connection with hundreds of thousands of deaths, a number which cannot be estimated at present and is certain to increase exponentially in time.”
The Philippines had already banned Gates from entering the country in 2016, and has asked Interpol to relay the arrest warrant as a “red notice” to other police forces around the world, a request that has so far gone unmet.
The Heinous Crimes Court in Manila issued the order for the arrest of Gates under article 248 of the revised penal code (RPC), which carries a minimum prison term of 20 years and one day.
The news was immediately met with a superinjunction issued by the Gates Foundation which prevents media in relevant jurisdictions reporting on the arrest warrant or the existence of the superinjunction until the case is resolved.
The Philippines has a history of court action against international agencies pushing vaccines in the territory.
In 1995, the Philippines accused the UN agency UNICEF of waging a secret sterilization campaign in the territory. The state won a court order halting a UNICEF tetanus program that was using tetanus vaccine secretly laced with an abortion drug. Anti-hCG-laced vaccines had also been found in at least four other countries.
A Gates Foundation spokesperson declined to comment on the arrest warrant on Thursday, telling local radio: “This is a misunderstanding that we are going to have ironed out.”