Duque dropped the ball in Pfizer deal — Lacson

Published December 17, 2020, 12:06 AM

by Mario Casayuran

It was Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III who “dropped the ball” in the negotiation with Pfizer, a US company, for the delivery of 10 million doses of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine.        

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

This was revealed today by Senator Panfilo M. Lacson, who said it is Duque who should be faulted for the non-delivery of the vaccines.      

Lacson said this is based on his telephone conversation with Philippine Ambassador to the US Babes Romualdez.         

The senator quoted Romualdez as saying that Duque failed to prepare documentary requirement for the government to be able to buy the vaccines.  

This document is called confidentiality disclosure agreement, he added.

Romualdez, according to Lacson, had talks with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., on the Pfizer vaccine issue since last July.       

Earlier, Locsin tweeted that there were already negotiations with Pfizer but somebody ‘’dropped the ball.’         

Based on these talks, Pfizer promised to supply to the Philippines 10 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine.        

This did not happen because there was no confidentiality disclosure agreement prepared although there was a follow up done by a Pfizer representative, Lacson said.     

 He said Duque’s reported statement that there are still negotiations taking place with Pfizer could be a new initiative.       

Lacson asked that if the vaccines arrive in January and was not stopped because of Duque, how many Filipinos could have been saved starting January next year?