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Tuesday, March 9, 2021

President Duterte says VP Robredo’s comment counterproductive, asks public to trust gov’t

Vice President Leni Robredo’s comment on the government’s vaccination campaign is ill-timed and she should shut up if she could not say anything helpful, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte said on Monday.

In his weekly public address on government’s COVID-19 interventions, President Duterte said the statement made by the vice president is creating doubts in the mind of the public over the vaccines being rolled out by the government.

Robredo supported the call of some health workers for the Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC) to review Sinovac Biotech’s CoronaVac vaccine.

“Hindi niya binasa ang batas na recommendatory lang ang HTAC. If the opinion is sought by the secretary of Justice and by other in the medical profession in government,” the President said of the vice president.

The chief executive said the government is in a race against time to save the lives of millions of Filipinos from the coronavirus and any misleading information could discourage people from taking COVD-19 shot.

“Ngayon, we were fighting because time was of the essence. We were fighting against the tide of non-believers na huwag kayong matakot, ganito. Now, here comes the statement na hindi niya --- hindi niya binasa kumpleto ang batas, with just a simple statement, magke-create ka ng doubt,” he said.

The government is doing everything to convince the public that the vaccines are safe and effective and such comment could create uncertainty in people’s minds and eventually opt not to get vaccinated, the President said.

President Duterte explained that the HTAC recommendation is not necessary because Sinovac’s vaccine was not acquired and was given Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Rallying support for the government’s immunization program, President Duterte asked the public to trust the administration’s plan of actions.

“Alam mo mga kababayan, isa sa pinakaimportante talaga is maniwala kayo sa gobyerno. At huwag lang basta-basta --- sinabi ko nga sa inyo noon eh, dito kayo makinig sa gobyerno kasi ‘yon ang trabaho namin. Pinapag-aralan muna at bago gagamitin,” he said.

“So I hope that next time kung wala naman siyang masabi na tama, she just would maybe shut up. Siguraduhin niya muna o hindi magbasa siya, siya mismo,” he added.  PND