The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) canceled its fact-finding investigation on the COVID-19 vaccination conducted among some members of the Presidential Security Group.
AFP spokesperson Major General Edgard Arevalo said the decision came following the recent statements of President Rodrigo Duterte regarding the controversial inoculation of his PSG.
AFP Inspector General Lieutenant General Franco Nemecio Gacal was supposed to lead the investigation and was supposed to start today, January 5.
On Monday night, Duterte said he would order the PSG to just shut up when they appear in a Senate hearing.
“If that is the case then I would ask the PSG to just shut up. Do not answer. Invoke the right against self-incrimination at wala kayong makukuha and do not force my soldiers to testify against their will,” Duterte said in his weekly address to the nation.
Duterte even warned that there would be a crisis between the Executive and Legislative branches if the senators would use their contempt powers against his PSG.
“‘Wag ninyong i-contempt contempt na i-detain ninyo. I do not think that it will be good for you and for me it would not be healthy for everybody,” he added.
AFP cancels probe on PSG COVID-19 vaccination
The President also insisted that he knew the details of the PSG’s vaccination.
On Tuesday, Senate President Vicente Sotto III maintained that the PSG won’t be summoned on the scheduled January 11 hearing.
“Bakit hindi niya papayagan? Pinapatawag ko ba? Last time I heard, ako [ang] chairman. Bakit iniiba ang topic ng hearing ko which is the roadmap of the P72.5B for vaccines?” Sotto said in a message to reporters.
“Who in heaven’s name told him I’m calling for the PSG? I think the President is being misled,” he added.
Yesterday, Palace spokesperson Harry Roque lauded Presidential Security Group (PSG) members who received COVID-19 vaccines that were not approved by regulators, insisting it was clear proof that they are willing to risk their lives to protect President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Ang mensahe po nila ay malinaw: magpapakamatay po sila sa Presidente, para sa Presidente para bigyan siya ng proteksiyon,” he said.