Palace praises Duterte close-in security who took unauthorized COVID-19 vaccine

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 04 2021 01:37 PM | Updated as of Jan 04 2021 01:44 PM

Palace praises Duterte close-in security who took unauthorized COVID-19 vaccine 1
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte salutes to the troop commander during the Presidential Security Group (PSG) Change of Command Ceremony at the PSG Compound in Malacañang Park, Manila on May 30, 2018. Also in the photo are Sec. Bong Go of the Office of the Special Assistant to the President, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, outgoing PSG Commander Brigadier General Lope Dagoy and newly-installed PSG Commander Colonel Jose Eriel Niembra. Alfred Frias, Malacanang Photo

MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte lauds the members of his security detail who took an unauthorized and possibly smuggled vaccine against the novel coronavirus, his spokesman said on Monday. 

The Presidential Security Group decided that COVID-19 is a "threat" to Duterte and decided to take the vaccines, said his spokesman Harry Roque. 

“Tingin ko po ang mensahe ng PSG ay handa silang mamatay para protektahan po ang seguridad ng ating Presidente,” Roque told reporters in an online briefing.

(I think the message of the PSG is that the are ready to die to protect the security of the President.)

“Nagpapasalamat po kami at nagpupugay rin sa lahat ng miyembro ng PSG na nagpaturok. Maraming salamat po sa inyong katapatan, sa inyong katapangan,” he said. 

(We thank and pay tribute to all the members of the PSG who had themselves vaccinated. Thank you very much for your faithfulness and bravery.) 

Roque also mentioned Vice President Leni Robredo, who over the weekend called for transparency in the PSG's vaccination. 

“Haharap ba ho sila sa mga imbestigasyon? Siyempre po, wala po tayong tinatago, VP Leni Robredo,” he said. “Wala pong takot ang ating PSG kung papatawan sila ng parusa.” 

(Will they face investigations? Of course. We are not hiding anything VP Leni Robredo. The PSG has no fear should they be sanctioned.)

The Philippine's drug regulator has not yet approved any novel coronavirus vaccine for local use. 

The COVID-19 vaccines that Duterte's security team used were smuggled, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said last week. 

Video courtesy of PTV