The Presidential Security Group (PSG) is prepared to face consequences, including death, over the controversial vaccination against the coronavirus of its members, Malacañang said Monday.
According to Presidential spokesman Harry Roque, the PSG troopers took the risk of getting the vaccine shot to ensure the President’s protection and would accept any penalty for their action.
Even as some groups chided the President’s close-in security for allegedly skirting the country’s laws over the unauthorized vaccine use, Roque insisted that the Chief Executive is grateful for the action of the PSG.
“Nagkaroon po ng desisyon ang PSG na sa panahon ng pandemya eh isa sa malaking banta sa kalusugan ng Presidente ay kung mahahawa siya noong mga taong nakapaligid sa kaniya – at ito nga ang PSG. So nagdesisyon sila maski wala pa pong authorization na magpabakuna (The PSG made the decision that during pandemic, one of the biggest threats to the President’s health is if he gets infected by the people surrounding him and that is the PSG so they decided to get vaccinated despite the lack of authorization),” he said during an online press briefing.
“In other words po, dahil handa naman silang mamatay para sa Presidente eh pumayag na rin sila na magpasaksak dahil sa kanilang pagnanais na huwag sanang mahawaan ang ating Presidente (In other words, because they are are ready to die for the President, they agreed to get vaccinated because they don’t want the President infected with the disease),” he said.
Roque also said the PSG is prepared to face any investigation over the vaccination, insisting they were “not hiding anything.” He maintained that the PSG’s main mission is to protect the President and the immediate family.
“Wala pong takot ang ating mga PSG kung papatawan sila ng parusa. Kagaya ng aking sinabi po, magpapakamatay nga po sila para sa Presidente, ano naman ang pakialam nila kung anong parusang maibibigay sa kanila kung mayroon mang parusa (The PSG is not afraid if they will slapped with punishment. Like I said,they will die for the President so what do they care about punishment if there is any),” he said.
“Ang mensahe po nila ay malinaw: magpapakamatay po sila sa Presidente, para sa Presidente para bigyan siya ng proteksiyon at ang sambayanang Pilipino naman po at ang ating Presidente ay nagbibigay-pugay sa katapatan ng PSG sa kanilang misyon na protektahan ang ating Presidente (The message is clear: They will die for the President just to give him protection and the Filipino nation and our President commend the commitment of the PSG to the mission to protect the President),” he added.
Roque however sought an end to the discussion about the PSG vaccination, saying attention should instead be given to the government’s planned acquisition and distribution of the vaccine.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier claimed that the COVID-19 vaccines administered to the PSG members were smuggled due to lack of authority from the Food and Drug Administration. Lorenzana asked the PSG to explain the matter since they supposedly violated FDA rules.
PSG commander Brig. Gen. Jesus Durante III earlier confirmed that several PSG members providing close-in security to the President received coronavirus vaccines as part of their mission to protect the President. He called the vaccination of the PSG an independent move, adding the President was informed only afterwards.
Durante declined to reveal details about the PSG vaccination, including how the vaccine was obtained and which drug was used.
The government’s admission about the PSG vaccination came after President Duterte claimed that some military personnel have been inoculated against the coronavirus using the Chinese-made vaccine.
The controversy has prompted the Senate to launch an inquiry into the government’s vaccination plan in the country.