President Duterte thanked Chinese President Xi Jinping anew for the Chinese government’s donation of 600,000 doses of CoronaVac vaccines, expressing hope that he can someday repay their generosity.
Duterte made the statement as the government rolled out its vaccination program against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) with the vaccines donated by the Chinese government.
In his weekly public address, Duterte recalled that he called Xi at the start of the pandemic, asking him to not forget the Philippines if things go south.
“Sabi ko (I told him), ‘Mr. President, my country does not have the technology. We do not have the know-how. I hope you do not forget us if things go afoul,'” he said Monday evening.
“‘Yan yung tinawag ko (And they delivered),” he added, referring to the donated vaccines.
President Duterte likewise took time to personally address his Chinese counterpart.
“President Xi Jinping is listening now. So President, from the bottom of my heart and with immense gratitude, I thank you and the Chinese people and government for being so generous,” he said.
“Maybe someday I can repay you if I will still have enough time on this planet,” he added.
On Sunday, President Duterte expressed his desire to go to China this year to personally thank President Xi for their donation of 600,000 doses of CoronaVac vaccines.
“If I have to travel to China– even one day– just to tell President Xi Jinping, ‘Thank you, and then I go home,” he said.