De Lima blasts Duterte’s order to mix-up vaccine distribution

De Lima blasts Duterte’s order to mix-up vaccine distribution

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA — Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima slams Mr. Duterte’s
order to mix-up the distribution and administration of vaccine brands
to force the people to accept whatever vaccine is made available to
them.

De Lima made the statement after Duterte told vaccine czar Secretary
Carlito Galvez Jr. to shuffle the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to
prevent the citizens from choosing their preferred brands.

She said that Duterte’s order to mix up vaccine distribution is unacceptable.

“Napaka-iresponsable na tanggalin sa tao ang karapatan nilang pumili
ng ituturok sa kanilang katawan. Pandemya man o hindi, hindi pa rin
pagmamay-ari ng estado ang katawan ng bawat Pilipino,” she said in her
Dispatch from Crame No. 1161.

“Ang bawat mamamayan pa rin ang pipili kung ano ang ituturok sa
kanyang katawan, hindi ang estado, lalong lalo na hindi si Duterte.
Huwag niyang ipasa ang masamang resulta ng kanyang pagpapabaya sa
pagbili ng bakuna sa mamamayan,” she added.

The lady Senator from Bicol said Duterte’s directive deprives the
people of their recognized right to make an informed choice of what
vaccine brand is to be injected into their body.

“The choice of vaccine brand is personal. It cannot be forced by the
State in some sort of a lottery, in the same way that it remains a
right of everyone to choose whether to be vaccinated or not in the
first place,” she said.

Ultimately, De Lima said it is not the people’s fault if Duterte
arbitrarily and without any medical rationale whatsoever favored the
purchase of Chinese vaccines Sinovac and Sinopharm, which have been
viewed as less trustworthy and proven to be of lesser reliability than
other vaccines with better-documented testing protocols and results.

De Lima further stated: “It is not also the fault of the people if the
government slept, did nothing, or botched up deals when vaccine
manufacturers started allocation of their projected stocks last year,
relying instead on China’s promise to donate and allocate stocks to
the Philippines” she said.

“Dahil dito, hindi lamang kapabayaan ang pagpwersa sa mga tao na
tanggapin ang Chinese vaccines, isa rin itong kawalanghiyaan,” she
added.

Last June, De Lima also slammed Duterte for threatening to order the
arrest of Filipinos who refuse COVID-19 vaccination and told them to
leave the country if they would not cooperate with efforts to end a
public health emergency. (ai/mtvn)

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