De Lima to Duterte: Do not force favored Chinese vaccines on Filipinos

Detained Senator Leila de Lima finds President Duterte's order to mix-up the distribution and administration of vaccine brands in order to force the people to accept whatever vaccine is made available to them ‘’unacceptable.’’

De Lima said the presidential fiat deprives the people of their recognized right to make an informed choice of what vaccine brand is to be injected into their body.

‘’The choice of vaccine brand is personal. It cannot be forced by the State in some sort of a lottery, in the same way that it remains a right of everyone to choose whether to be vaccinated or not in the first place,’’ she explained.

De Lima said It is not the fault of the people if President Duterte arbitrarily and without any medical rationale whatsoever favored the purchase of Chinese vaccines Sinovac and Sinopharm.

It is not also their fault if the government slept, did nothing, or botched up deals when vaccine manufacturers started allocation of their projected stocks last year, relying instead on China's promise to donate and allocate stocks to the Philippines, she pointed out.

‘’Napaka-iresponsable na tanggalin sa tao ang karapatan nilang pumili ng ituturok sa kanilang katawan (It is very irresponsible). Pandemya man o hindi, hindi pa rin pagmamay-ari ng estado ang katawan ng bawat Pilipino (Pandemic or not, the State does not own the bodies of every Filipino). Ang bawat mamamayan pa rin ang pipili kung ano ang ituturok sa kanyang katawan, hindi ang estado, lalong lalo na hindi si Duterte (Each citizen chooses what vaccine he wants to be injected into his body.) Huwag niyang ipasa ang masamang resulta ng kanyang pagpapabaya sa pagbili ng bakuna sa mamamayan (He could not transfer the bad results of his inefficiency in buying the vaccines for Filipinos),’’ she added.

‘’Sampung bilyon ang ninakaw ng Davao Mafia sa Pharmally heist (The Davao Mafia stole P10 billion through the Pharmally heist). Huwag nilang sabihin na walang pambili ng bakuna noong nakaraang taon (They cannot say there was no money for the purchase of vaccines last year). Imbes na pambili ng bakuna na mas mabisa sa Chinese vaccines, pinambili ng magagarang kotse ng kanilang mga kasabwat sa Pharmally ang pera ng taumbayan (Instead of buying Chinese vaccines, they used the money to purchase expensive vehicles),’’ she added.

‘’Dahil dito, hindi lamang kapabayaan ang pagpwersa sa mga tao na tanggapin ang Chinese vaccines, isa rin itong kawalanghiyaan (Forcing Filipinos to accept Chinese vaccines is foolish),’’ she stressed.