Palace to give regular updates on Duterte’s health after vaccination

Published March 1, 2021, 1:31 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Malacañang assured the public that it will give regular updates on President Duterte’s health after he gets vaccinated against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after President Duterte reiterated that he will get the vaccine for his “self-preservation” but did not divulge which brand he will be getting.

In a press briefing at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) in Manila, Roque assured the public that after the President is inoculated, he will give regular updates on the Chief Executive’s health. 

“Of course, we will inform you kung ano ang magiging (of the possible) side effects, if any, on the President,” he said.

He, however, said that the 1987 Constitution does not compel Duterte to divulge any minor illness.

“Ang nakasaad sa Constitution, may obligasyon ang Presidenteng isapubliko ang kanyang medical condition pagdating po sa mga seryosong pagkakasakit lamang (According to the Constitution, the President has an obligation to go public with his medical condition only if he has a serious illness),” Roque said.

On Sunday, President Duterte said he was willing to get vaccinated because he is meeting many people but the CoronaVac vaccine was not recommended for those over 59 years old. Duterte will turn 76 on March 28.

“I have to defer to my doctor. But I said, on the matter of getting the vaccine, it is my self-preservation [that] will be at issue. Kailangan kong magpabakuna (I have to be vaccinated),” Duterte said.

“Ano bang problema nila sa bakuna na talagang magpabakuna man ako (What is their problem about the vaccine when I’m really getting vaccinated)? If I do not want to die and get COVID, I should get one,” he added.

Duterte said his doctor was also waiting for another vaccine brand that will be more suitable for him. He, however, refused to specify which vaccine brand is preferred by the doctor for him. 

President Duterte has agreed to be vaccinated in public but Roque said previously that the President prefers to receive the vaccine manufactured by Chinese drug maker Sinopharm.