MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte’s remark about waiving his Covid-19 vaccination slot was his “personal conviction” that may change when more vaccine supplies arrive in the country, Malacañang said Tuesday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this clarification after Duterte in a public address late Monday night said he is willing to give up his slot to those who need the vaccine to “live productively”.
“Ito ay personal conviction ng Pangulo habang kulang pa po ang ating mga bakuna. Mauna na ang taongbayan, saka na po siya (This is the President’s personal conviction now that there is a limited supply of vaccines. The people first before him),” he said in a virtual presser.
Roque explained that Duterte’s statement was “temporary” and expressed hope that it would change when the bulk of Covid-19 vaccines arrive in the second quarter of the year.
“Panandaliang sentimyento po ni Presidente yung sinabi niya kahapon na habang di pa sapat po ang mga bakuna…I hope that will change po dahil parating naman po yung mas maraming supply lalo na sa mga buwan ng Mayo at ng Hunyo (What the President said yesterday is a temporary sentiment while there are limited vaccines. I hope that will change because more supply of vaccine is expected in the months of May and June),” he said.
Roque, however, said Duterte may push through with his public vaccination when more vaccine doses arrive in the country.
“So siguro po pag talagang dumagsa na ang ating supply at kinakailangan madaliin na talaga ang pagbabakuna sa lahat, ‘yun po ang panahon na magpapabakuna ang ating Presidente (Perhaps when the bulk of vaccines arrive and we need to speed up the rollout that’s when the President will get vaccinated),” he said.
He also dismissed rumors that Duterte has already been administered with his preferred Covid-19 vaccine brand.
“Hanggang speculation lang po ‘yan (It’s all speculation),” he said.
Meanwhile, Roque described Duterte’s appearance on national television to deliver his regular public address as proof of Duterte’s good health amid rumors about being ill or dead.
“Ang paglabas po ng ating Pangulo ay patunay na ang Punong Ehekutibo ay nananatiling fit, healthy, not to mention mukhang bumata sa kaniyang edad (Duterte showing himself on television is proof that our Chief Executive is fit, healthy, not to mention, he looks younger),” he said.
Last week, Duterte skipped his regular public address after many of his close-in security detail tested positive for Covid-19.
In a pre-recorded public address on Monday night, Duterte said he was purposely out of the public eye last week because he was busy reviewing and signing documents.
Duterte dared critics to “pray harder” if they wanted rumors about him being ill or dead to come true. (PNA)