Columnist Mon Tulfo admitted that he was among the first to be vaccinated with a smuggled Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine last year.
It will be recalled that in December 2020, President Rodrigo Duterte himself announced that some members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) had been vaccinated, even though the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had not yet approved any vaccine at the time.
In a column in the newspaper on Saturday, Tulfo, the Philippines’ special envoy to China, said he was among those who were vaccinated with Sinopharm products from China, in October.
Tulfo added that the Sinopharm vaccine was also injected into some PSG members.
However, Tulfo defended what he had done.
“I didn’t use my influence or my position nung nagpaturok ako, kasi kaibigan ko yung pilantropo. Ang intensyon ko non ay malaman ko kung ano yung effect, kasi nag-a-apply nga ako na maging distributor sa Pilipinas,” said Tulfo.
Tulfo also believes that there is no conflict of interest in what he did.
“Wala pong conflict of interest, kasi hindi naman ako nag-apply sa China, sa Sinopharm, kundi sa kompanya, dito bilang isang private citizen,” he said.
FDA to investigate Mon Tulfo’s illegal vaccination
Tulfo still does not want to specify his “friend” who smuggled the Sinopharm vaccine in the Philippines, even though it is against Republic Act 9711. Tulfo also refused to name some Cabinet officials and the senator who also received the vaccine.
According to Mon Tulfo, his appointment as a special envoy expired a year ago.
As a result of Tulfo’s confession, the FDA is also conducting an investigation, in addition to the National Bureau of Investigation.
“We will refer this report to our regulatory enforcement unit para po imbestigahan nila. Yung pong sa PSG, hanggang ngayon, wala pa pong kasagutan yung aming tanong. Pati po ang DOH, sumulat sa kanila pero as of now, wala pa po kaming nakukuhang impormasyon,” said FDA Director General Eric Domingo.
But Domingo replied: “Wala pong nag-apply at hindi po namin pinipigilan. Actually, lahat po hinihintay naming mag-apply dito sa FDA.”