Former Speaker and Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano is calling for a “thorough and fair” investigation into reports that government officials, including a colleague in the House of Representatives, who allegedly violated the prioritizatization mechanism in the vaccination program for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
In a media interview on Thursday, March 4, Cayetano appealed to his fellow government officials to respect the vaccination prioritization listing for COVID-19 inoculation, stressing that there should be no “VIPs” in the COVID 19 pandemic.
Cayetano lamented that as reports indicated that VIP’s were able to go ahead of others in the priority list, local government units are still not assured access to COVID-19.
“So I hope that the investigation will be thorough and fair, kasi nakita ko ‘yung ibang VIPs sinabi inimbestigahan. (So I hope that the investigation will be thorough and fair because I’ve seen instances where they say it was investigated.), the former House leader said.
“After three months o six months, nakalimutan na ng tao. ‘Paubaya mo na ‘yan.’ Kasi nga VIP. (After three months or six months they forget about it. ‘Just let it be.’ And that’s because they’re VIP.)” he said.
Quezon Rep. Angelina Tan, chairperson of the House Committee on Health, was among the officials who have received COVID-19 vaccine jabs.
Tan has claimed that she is entitled to the Sinovac jab being a member of the family of her son, a surgeon at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center.
The VMMC’s vaccination program for its medical frontliners reportedly extended to the immediate members of their family.
However, Cayetano has this to say about Tan’s defense: “But ang aking pakiusap lang d’un sa mga hindi pa nagpapabakuna, minsan legal pero imoral. (My request to those who have not yet been vaccinated, sometimes it’s legal but immoral.)”
Aside from Tan, also assailed in the social media for allegedly skipping the prioritization queue were Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya of the Department of Interior and Local Government; Chief of staff Michael Salalima of the Metro Manila Development Authority and Pasay City Vice Mayor Boyet del Rosario.
In reaction, World Health Organization representative to the Philippines Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe warned that the Philippines is running the risk of being excluded int he global COVAX facility if it will continue to ignore the prioritization requirements already approved by WHO.