Sotto: No need for Duque to explain himself on botched Pfizer vaccine deal
MANILA, Philippines — For Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, he thinks that Health Secretary Francisco Duque III has no need to explain himself before the Senate on the failed procurement of 10 million dozes of COVID-19 vaccines from US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.
“Hindi na kailangan. Ano ang ipapaliwanag niya, eh hinihingi ang papeles sa kanya, hindi niya [naibigay], ano ang kailangang ipaliwanag doon di ba?” Sotto said in an interview over DWIZ on Saturday.
(He doesn’t need to. What will he explain, he was asked for the papers, but he did not submit it, what does he need to explain, right?)
“Ang tagal na noon, hanggang ngayon. Ano ang kailangang ipaliwanag doon?” he added.
(That took so long, until now. Why does he need to explain?)
The Senate is set to hold a Committee of the Whole hearing to look into the government’s COVID-19 vaccination program.
Previously, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. first bared that “someone dropped the ball” on the deal with Pfizer to procure the vaccines for Filipinos.
But Duque later said that there was no such thing as “dropping the ball,” saying that negotiations with Pfizer regarding its vaccines were still ongoing.
When asked if Duque’s actions were a liability, Sotto answered: “Mas magandang tanungin ninyo yung tanong na yan kay President [Rodrigo] Duterte kasi alam ninyo naman ang sagot ko eh.”
(It’s better if you ask President Duterte that question, you already know my answer.)
And when further asked if what Duque did brought more disappointment, the Senate President answered: “Ay oo. Kaya nga yung tanong ninyo di na kailangan ako ang tanungin… tanungin ninyo ang Malacañang tungkol diyan.”
(Yes, that’s why you don’t need to ask, ask Malacañang about that question.)
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