Lacson: Why focus on PSG vaccination when we have no vaccines yet?
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Panfilo Lacson is not in favor of shifting the focus of the Senate probe on the COVID-19 vaccination into the controversy shrouding the inoculation of Presidential Security Group (PSG) with an unregistered coronavirus vaccine, saying focus should instead be on why the country still has not approved any COVID-19 vaccines yet.
Lacson, who has deflected questions on whether he himself had received a jab of the COVID-19 vaccine, said he found it “awful” that the Senate wants to focus on the PSG personnel who had agreed to be inoculated with an unregistered Chinese vaccine in the hearing set on January 11.
“It is awful that the Senate hearing wants to focus on investigating the PSG personnel who allowed themselves to be inoculated instead of asking why we have no vaccines yet, unlike many other countries,” Lacson said in a tweet.
“Let’s ask again – who dropped the ball?” the senator added.
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon earlier said that PSG chief, Brig. Gen. Jesus Durante III, should be summoned in the Senate hearing to explain the controversial early inoculation among President Rodrigo Duterte’s guards using unregistered COVID-19 vaccine.
But the Palace questioned the Senate’s alleged interference with matters of Duterte’s security.
In his weekly briefing Monday night, Duterte sternly warned Congress against “tinkering” with the PSG issue. The President also warned lawmakers against citing PSG personnel in contempt for ignoring the inquiry.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III has said that the upper chamber’s inquiry will focus on the national government’s COVID-19 vaccination program.
Any other issue outside the topic—including the PSG controversy—may be tackled in a separate hearing, said Sotto.