'Don't feature politicians in vaccine infomercials' — Sotto

Published May 29, 2021, 6:36 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Senate President Vicente Sotto III frowned upon the suggestion to have President Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo in a single public service announcement to boost public confidence in vaccination.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III (Senate of the Philippines)

In a radio interview Saturday, May 29, Sotto said the proposed Duterte-Robredo infomercial will not address vaccine hesitancy among Filpinos.

He said other “respected” personalities should be tapped instead of policitians.

“Hindi ako palo doon, pangit na suggestion ‘yon. Bakit gagamitin mo ang mga pulitiko? Gumamit ka ng karaniwang tao. Gumamit ka ng mga kilalang tao na nirerespeto, lalo na yung hindi konektado sa pulitika (I am not convinced with that, it’s not a good suggestion. Why will you use politicians? Feature ordinary Filipinos. Popular personalities who are also repected but not involved in politics),” Sotto told radio DWIZ.

“Bakit mo gagamitin ‘yong mga pulitiko? Plugging pa yun eh, halatang-halata naman (Why will you use politicians? It will be just used to plug their interest, it’s too obvious),” he added, alluding to the upcoming 2022 national and local elections.

It was his colleague, Senator Joel Villanueva, who proposed that Duterte and Robredo team up to encourage people to get inoculated.

“Maiinis pa ang tao doon. Ano ba, hindi sila marunong pumulso ng masa? Susmaryosep, apat na pung taon ko ng pinupulsuhan ang masa, alam ko ang ayaw nila at gusto. Ayaw nila noon, ayaw nila. Hindi tatalab ang infomercial mo pag ginamitan mo ng pulitiko (People will only get irritated. Don’t they know how do get the people’s pulse? I have been getting the people’s pulse for 40 years, I already know what they like or dislike. They wouldn’t want that, no. Informercials won’t work if you feature politicians),” Sotto said.

“Promo yun, hindi infomercial ‘yon (That will only end up being a promo, not an informercial)” he added.

Robredo expressed openness to join Duterte in a joint ad, but Duterte’s camp saw the move as an attempt of the opposition to piggyback on the government’s supposed success in rolling out the vaccination program.