Finally breaking her silence, Vice President Leni Robredo said that President Duterte sounded unpresidential when he went on a tirade against her during his late-night pre-recorded address to the nation on Monday night.
“Ang unang dating sa akin, parang hindi pangulo ang nagsasalita. Pangalawa, sobrang pikon (My first reaction is he didn’t speak like a president. Second, he is too sensitive),” she said on The Mangahas Interviews.
The vice president said that people should be allowed to make suggestions. Robredo was referring to the Chief Executive’s rant-filled address on Monday night wherein Duterte told her to go shop for COVID-19 vaccines and that he will even give her the money to do so.
“Kung gusto mo talaga para mahinto ka, kunin mo yung basket mo, mamalengke ka doon sa labas ng bakuna. Bigyan kita pera (If you really want so you will stop, get your basket, shop for vaccines. I will give you money),” the President said in response to Robredo urging the government to ensure that China’s Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine goes through the proper process of approval before the rollout.
Over the weekend, Robredo said that Sinovac has not secured a positive recommendation from the Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC), which makes a separate assessment of the available vaccines based on peer-reviewed journals.
This was after a group of health care workers at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) held a rally to call for the HTAC review.
The HTAC review is a step before the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG) can create guidelines on its procurement and rollout.
The NITAG, however, gave the go-ahead to the Department of Health (DOH) despite the lack of recommendation from HTAC.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said that Sinovac is already under HTAC review, but not before the department inoculated several health care workers and government officials.
Robredo has been the subject of the President’s rants several times since she resigned from the Cabinet in December 2016.