Duterte condemns 'alarming' sale of COVID vaccines, seeks punishment of culprits

Published July 7, 2021, 1:14 AM

by Genalyn Kabiling

The coronavirus vaccines given by the government is free of charge and anyone who sells them will be held accountable, President Duterte declared early Wednesday.

President Rodrigo Duterte (File photo/Malacañang)

In a taped address aired past midnight, the President expressed concern about the “alarming” illegal sale of vaccines and directed authorities to probe and prosecute those behind the unlawful activity.

“This is very alarming. We condemn these acts and we will not allow perpetrators to go unpunished,” Duterte said.

“I order every relevant authority to investigate this matter thoroughly and press charges accordingly,” he added.

Duterte issued the directive after learning that a health worker was arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation for the alleged unauthorized sale of Sinovac vaccines. The incident came after vaccination slots were reportedly peddled by some unscrupulous people in Mandaluyong City, he said.

“The COVID-19 vaccine given by the government are not for sale. They are given to our people for free, not only to the poor but to the rich,” he said.

The government has so far administered more than 11 million doses of coronavirus since the inoculative drive started last March. More than 2.9 million people have already been fully vaccinated.