AFP to probe PSG over COVID-19 vaccine use

Published January 1, 2021, 2:00 PM

by Jeffrey Damicog

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has vowed to investigate members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) for acquiring and using vaccines against the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

AFP spokesman Marin Maj. Gen Edgar Arevalo said in a statement that AFP chief-of-staff Gen. Gilbert Gapay has already “ordered the conduct of a thorough investigation on the factual circumstances surrounding this incident.”

The move was made after PSG commander Brig. Gen. Jesus Durante III earlier bared that the PSG was able to get COVID-19 vaccines and have its personnel vaccinated.

On the other hand, Arevalo reiterated that AFP believes that the move made by the PSG was necessary to prevent President Duterte from catching COVID-19.

“We stand by the previous statement of PSG Commander BGen Jesus Durante that the President’s close-in security had themselves inoculated with the Covid-19 vaccine to greatly reduce the possibility of being the source and carrier of this virus and consequently infect the President, whose good health and well-being are the PSG’s primordial concern,” Arevalo said.

“However, we maintain our previous declaration that the Chief-of-Staff of the AFP was not part of or privy about the circumstances involving the procurement of these vaccines, its source, and the administration thereof to PSG troopers,” he assured.

Under Section 21 of Republic Act No. 3720 or the amended Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, it is provided that any new drug “should have an authorization from the FDA based on an application containing full reports of investigations.”