Mon Tulfo, President Rodrigo Duterte’s special envoy to China, admitted that he was vaccinated with a smuggled Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine.
The journalist told One News that he sees no conflict in getting the Chinese vaccine and his application to be a distributor or Sinopharm in the Philippines while being Duterte’s special envoy.
“You have to understand that although I’m special envoy to China, I’m also a private citizen. Naga-apply ako ng distributorship ng Sinopharm,” Tulfo said.
“Kaya ko naisipan na magpabakuna kasi ang available sa market although smuggled nga kaya ay gusto kong makatiyak na kung effective sa akin, malamang effective sa sambayanan,” he added.
(So I thought of getting vaccinated because it is available in the market although smuggled. I want to make sure that if it is effective for me, it is probably effective for the people.)
Mon Tulfo said he was already 74 years old and had several allergies.
“I never used my position as special envoy in securing the vaccines. I just got hold of the vaccine through a friend who smuggled it into the country,” Tulfo said.
“Hindi ko ginamit yung posisyon ko kasi dito ko nakuha yung vaccine. Hindi nga ako makapunta ng China kasi nga may pandemic di ba?” he added.
Mon Tulfo admits getting vaccinated with ‘smuggled’ Sinopharm vaccine
(I did not use my position because I got the vaccine here. I can’t go to China because of the pandemic, right?)
“Wala akong nakitang conflict of interest dito. Private citizen naman ako e. Ang special envoy to China is just an honorific,” Mon Tulfo said.
“I’m not a government official,” he added.
Tulfo said he talked to President Duterte a week or two ago. He said he was told that Duterte wants to be vaccinated with the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine.
Early this month, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the compassionate use of Sinopharm, a COVID-19 vaccine from China, for President Rodrigo Duterte’s Presidential Security Group (PSG) members.