Duterte’s order to mix-up vaccine distribution unacceptable; ultimately it is not the people’s fault that Duterte favored purchases of untrustworthy vaccines – De Lima


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Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima slams Mr. Duterte’s order to mix-up the distribution and administration of vaccine brands to force the people to accept whatever vaccine is made available to them.

De Lima made the statement after Duterte told vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. to shuffle the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to prevent the citizens from choosing their preferred brands.

Napaka-iresponsable na tanggalin sa tao ang karapatan nilang pumili ng ituturok sa kanilang katawan. Pandemya man o hindi, hindi pa rin pagmamay-ari ng estado ang katawan ng bawat Pilipino,” she said in her Dispatch from Crame No. 1161.

“Ang bawat mamamayan pa rin ang pipili kung ano ang ituturok sa kanyang katawan, hindi ang estado, lalong lalo na hindi si Duterte. Huwag niyang ipasa ang masamang resulta ng kanyang pagpapabaya sa pagbili ng bakuna sa mamamayan,” she added.

The lady Senator from Bicol said Duterte’s directive deprives the people of their recognized right to make an informed choice of what vaccine brand is to be injected into their body.

“The choice of vaccine brand is personal. It cannot be forced by the State in some sort of a lottery, in the same way that it remains a right of everyone to choose whether to be vaccinated or not in the first place,” she said.

Ultimately, De Lima said it is not the people’s fault if Duterte arbitrarily and without any medical rationale whatsoever favored the purchase of Chinese vaccines Sinovac and Sinopharm, which have been viewed as less trustworthy and proven to be of lesser reliability than other vaccines with better documented testing protocols and results.

De Lima further stated: “It is not also the fault of the people if the government slept, did nothing, or botched up deals when vaccine manufacturers started allocation of their projected stocks last year, relying instead on China’s promise to donate and allocate stocks to the Philippines” she said.

Dahil dito, hindi lamang kapabayaan ang pagpwersa sa mga tao na tanggapin ang Chinese vaccines, isa rin itong kawalanghiyaan,” she added. 

Last June, De Lima also slammed Duterte for threatening to order the arrest of Filipinos who refuse COVID-19 vaccination and told them to leave the country if they would not cooperate with efforts to end a public health emergency. (30)

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