It seemed like Vice President Leni Robredo has no interest to answer President Duterte’s rant that focused on her criticisms of how China’s Sinovac skipped a step in the approval process.
Over the weekend, Robredo questioned Sinovac’s failure to secure a positive recommendation from the Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC), a step before the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAC) can create guidelines on its procurement and rollout.
The media waited since Monday night for Robredo to answer Duterte’s rant against her during his pre-recorded address to the nation. As of posting time, she did not release a statement nor did she post on her official social media accounts.
Duterte said the vice president only wants to be relevant which is why she’s making such criticisms against him. He reacted against the suggestion of “Mareng Leni” who said he should be the first to be inoculated with Sinovac to raise confidence among the people.
“You seem to have an angel face but a devilish mind,” he quipped, adding that Robredo “sometimes makes an idiotic stance.”
Duterte said he cannot take Sinovac because his doctor wants him to wait for another brand of vaccine. It was later reported that he’s trying to get Sinopharm for him, his family, and a few Cabinet officials.
The Presidential Security Group (PSG) earlier got themselves inoculated with Sinopharm despite it not having an emergency use authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) yet.
“Ngayon kung gusto mo talaga para mahinto ka, kunin mo ‘yong basket mo, mamalengke ka doon sa labas ng bakuna. Bigyan kita pera, para kung may mabili ka bilhin mo na agad at umuwi ka dito sa Pilipinas, bigay mo doon sa mga doktor (Now, if you really like so you will stop, get your basket and shop outside for a vaccine. I will give you money so if you find something, go back here in the Philippines and give it to the doctors).”
Duterte expressed his frustrations against Robredo who he hinted wants another brand of vaccine.
Addressing her, the Chief Executive said there is a shortage of vaccine supply worldwide.
Robredo has been the subject of the President’s rants several times since her resignation from the Cabinet in December 2016.
The Vice President repeatedly expressed frustration in the past that her suggestions and comments are being politicized.