By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — Senator Christopher “Bong” Go urged the Filipino public to be vigilant
against individuals who are allegedly selling COVID-19 vaccines,
vaccination slots, or worse — fake vaccines.
He reminds them that the vaccines being rolled out by the government
are given for free.
He also warned perpetrators that they are putting lives at risk with
their illegal activities and that they would be held accountable for
such actions that take advantage of the vulnerabilities of Filipinos
amid an ongoing health crisis.
“Bawal po ‘yung for sale! Pinaghirapan po ito ng gobyerno, libre po
ang bakuna na pinapamahagi sa tao,” said Go in an interview after the
launch of the 125th Malasakit Center in the country at the Siargao
Island Medical Center in Dapa, Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte on
Saturday, July 3.
“Halos araw-araw tayong nagpa-follow up para makakuha lang ng bakuna
sa ibang bansa. Kaya hindi po ito binebenta. Libre po ito sa mga
Pilipino,” he added.
To ensure that they are properly distributed, Go said that the
government had been allocating the vaccines to critical areas as well
as far-flung communities, especially areas like Siargao Island.
“Kaya nga po hinihikayat namin ang national government na iparating
‘yung mga bakuna sa pinakamalayong lugar, including Siargao,” he said.
On July 1, a nurse from a hospital in Manila was arrested by the
National Bureau of Investigation over the sale of COVID-19 vaccines.
The following day, the city’s local government denied that the
COVID-19 doses purportedly being sold were from its inventory.
The hospital has been asked by the city government to investigate the
incident and pursue administrative charges against the nurse. The
hospital also confirmed in a statement that the arrested nurse was not
a member of the team that manages the COVID-19 immunizations.
The Senator also urged local leaders to ensure that the COVID-19
vaccine doses reach those they are intended for, particularly medical
frontliners who need them the most, as well as economic frontliners
who are now being prioritized in the rollout.
“Kanina po, kausap ko ‘yung mga opisyales niyo dito (sa Siargao),
kulang daw ‘yung bakuna. Sa airport po mismo, hindi pa bakunado ‘yung
mga frotnliners doon, so paki-take note lang po na mabakunahan ‘yung
mga frontliners dito sa Siargao dahil sila po ang exposed, lalung lalo
na po parating ‘yung mga turista, ‘yung mga pasahero po papunta rito
sa Siargao,” Go reminded.
“Dapat po protektado ‘yung ating mga frontliners o ‘yung ating mga
economic workers po doon sa airport,” he added.
The Senator, then, issued a stern warning to perpetrators of the
vaccine for sale scheme, saying that karma and the long arm of the law
will eventually catch up with them.
“Ako naman, warning po doon sa mga nagbebenta ng bakuna. Alam niyo,
huwag niyong gagawin ‘yun. Mananagot po kayo, aabutan din ng karma
‘yung nagbebenta,” he said.
“Hindi po ‘yan for sale. Bawat bakuna na ipinagkait niyo po sa
Pilipino, buhay po ang katumbas niyan. So, huwag niyo pong gagawin
kalokohan yan at pagbebenta ng bakuna. Pananagutin at aabutan po namin
kayo,” he concluded. (AI/MTVN)