Palace questions Senate’s supposed ‘interference’ in Duterte’s security
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Monday questioned the Senate’s alleged interference with matters of President Rodrigo Duterte’s security following calls for an inquiry on how the Presidential Security Group (PSG) acquired vaccines against COVID-19.
“Hindi ko po alam [I do not know],” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in an online briefing when asked if PSG Commander Brig. Gen. Jesus Durante III will be allowed to join a Senate inquiry on the government’s vaccination plan.
“Pero hindi ko po maintindihan kung bakit panghihimasukan ng Senado, a co-equal branch of government, ang seguridad ng ating Presidente e gayong hindi naman pinaghihimasukan ng Presidente ang seguridad ng Senado. So siguro po, mutual respect of co-equal branches of government,” he added.
(What I don’t understand is why the Senate, a co-equal branch of government, is interfering with the security of the President when the President is not interfering with the Senate’s security. Perhaps, there should be mutual respect for co-equal branches of government.)
The PSG’s move to vaccinate themselves against COVID-19 shows that they are “ready to die” just to protect Duterte, Roque said.
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon earlier said PSG’s chief should be summoned in the Senate inquiry on the government’s vaccination plan.
“In my view, the PSG Commander must be called and must appear in the investigation of the Committee of the Whole to shed light on this issue,” Drilon said.
Durante earlier disclosed that some of the President’s close-in security detail were vaccinated against COVID-19 as early as September.
To date, no COVID-19 vaccine has been authorized for use by the Philippines’ Food and Drug Administration.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.