Hontiveros: If Duterte can choose vaccine brands, so should Filipinos

Senator Risa lambasted the recent comments of presidential spokesperson Harry that Filipinos should not be “picky” on what COVID-19 vaccine brand they would receive.

The senator said the Palace should stop “cramming vaccine preferences down the public’s throat.”

“Sabi ni Sec. Roque, hindi pwede maging choosy. Pero sabi niya rin na si Presidente mismo ay namimili pa between Russian and Chinese vaccines,” Hontiveros said in a statement on Tuesday.

(Sec. Roque said the public can’t be choosy. But he also said that the President gets to choose between a Russian or Chinese vaccine.)

“Kung si Presidente pwedeng mamili, dapat ang taumbayan ay malaya ding makakapili at kalusugan nila iyan,” she added.

(If the President can choose, then the public should also be allowed to do so for their own health.)

Hontiveros also said that the public’s low vaccine confidence could be attributed to the early COVID-19 vaccination of Duterte’s security personnel and thousands of Philippine offshore gaming operator (Pogo) workers.

Also read: Roque to Filipinos: Don’t be ‘picky’ with COVID-19 vaccine brands

Hontiveros: If Duterte can choose vaccine brands, so should Filipinos

“Paanong hindi bababa ang tiwala at kung anu-ano ang nababalitaan ng mamamayang Pilipino? Dumagdag pa na nabakunahan ang ilang miyembro ng Presidential Security Group at Pogo workers through apparent smuggling na parang kinukunsinti pa ng administrasyon. Hindi pa sigurado kung ligtas ang bakunang ginamit,” she said.

(No wonder the public’s trust is dwindling. News also came to light about the early vaccination of the Presidential Security Group and Philippine offshore gaming operator workers through apparent smuggling which gives off an impression that the administration is condoning this. We are not even certain if the vaccinations that were done were safe.)

“Klaro sa mga survey na may agam-agam ang publiko sa ligtas ng bakuna, pero parang ang mensahe mula sa Palasyo ay ‘conform or get COVID’. Dehado ang mga Pilipino sa galawan na yan,” Hontiveros added.

(It is clear with the surveys that the public is apprehensive with the vaccination program but the Palace’s message seems to tell the public to “conform or get COVID.” Filipinos are on the losing end here.)

“We are public servants, and we should earn the people’s trust, not extract it,” the lawmaker said.

“Dapat pinapapanatag ang loob ng publiko, hindi pinagbabantaan [The public should be assured, not threatened],” she added.