The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) was not directly ordered to cancel its fact-finding probe on the controversial COVID-19 vaccination of some members of the Presidential Security Group, its spokesperson said Tuesday.
During a Laging Handa press briefing, Major General Edgard Arevalo said the President did not order them to stop the probe, adding they took the cue from Duterte’s recent pronouncement regarding the matter.
“Nakapagsalita na po ang ating Pangulo although di naman po siya directly… directed sa Armed Forces of the Philippines, we take cue from that because he is the commander-in-chief of all Armed Forces at malinaw po ang kanyang sinasabi, ‘yun din naman po ang paninindigan ng Sandatahang Lakas ng Pilipinas,” Arevalo said.
“Very clear po ang inissue natin na statement kaninang umaga na base sa statement na ipinalabas ng ating Pangulo, ang ating commander-in-chief. Bago maghating-gabi kagabi, ay nagdesisyon po siya (AFP chief General Gilbert Gapay) na i-call off na itong investigation na ito sapagkat malinaw naman po ang sinabi ng Pangulo na wala nang pangangailangan, na hindi na niya pinapayuhang dumalo sa imbestigasyon ang miyembro ng Presidential Security Group…” he added.
AFP Inspector General Lieutenant General Franco Nemecio Gacal was supposed to lead the investigation and it was supposed to start today, January 5.
AFP not ordered to cancel PSG vaccination probe
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.