Pangilinan on vaccine controversy: Don’t be afraid to speak if you’ve nothing to hide
MANILA, Philippines — It would now be up to the Senate whether or not to focus on the controversial vaccination of Presidential Security Guard (PSG) members but the focus should be on the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine, Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan stressed on Tuesday.
It was Pangilinan who initiated a Senate inquiry into the government’s plan to stop the spread of COVID-19. The probe is set on January 11.
“Makakatulong ang Senate hearing sa taumbayan para malinaw rin na ligtas at mabisa nga ba talaga ang bakunang tinurok sa kanila. At kung walang tinatago, ‘wag matakot magsalita,” Pangilinan said in a statement.
(The Senate hearing will help the public and at the same time shed light on the safety and efficacy of the vaccine. And if they are not hiding anything, then they should not be afraid to speak.)
“Yung sa usapin ng PSG, nasa mga senador na ito kung tututukan ito o hindi. Kung indikasyon ito ng magulo at kanya-kanyang kilos sa vaccine rollout, ligal man o hindi, ang mahalaga sa akin ay ano ang ibig sabihin nito sa usapin ng kung paano matitiyak na magiging maayos, patas, ligtas at epektibo ang vaccine rollout ng bansa at malaman kung handa ba talaga o hindi ang gobyerno dito,” Pangilinan said.
(The PSG issue is now up to senators whether they would focus on it or not. If this an indication of how the vaccine rollout would be, whether it’s legal or not, what’s important to me is to ensure that the vaccine rollout should be orderly, fair, safe and effective and find out if the government is indeed prepared for it.)
The senator stressed, however, that the Senate also has a duty to ensure the “check and balance” in government.
He assured that the probe is aimed at looking into government’s vaccination plan, and “not after prosecuting anyone.”
“Uulitin ko na buhay ng milyon-milyon nating mga kababayan ang nakataya dito. Kabuhayan din ng milyon-milyon nating nagugutom na kababayan ang nakasalalay sa economic recovery na depende naman sa maayos na pagpapatupad ng vaccine rollout sa buong bansa. Hindi tayo pwede magkamali dito,” Pangilinan said.
(I’ll repeat, the lives of millions of Filipinos are at stake here. The livelihood of our poor countrymen is dependent on the economic recovery, which would also depend on the vaccine rollout. We can’t go wrong here.)
“Kaya mahalaga ang Committee of the Whole hearing. Nawa’y sa pagbusisi ng Senado sa mga nangyayari sa usapin ng vaccine rollout ay magkaroon ng kaliwanagan ang game plan ng gobyerno,” he added.
(That’s why the hearing of the Committee of the Whole is important. We hope that through this hearing, we’d be enlightened on the government’s game plan on vaccination.)
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