MANILA - Malacañang is leaving it to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to probe reports that around 100,000 Chinese in the Philippines have already been vaccinated against COVID-19, despite majority of Filipinos yet to be inoculated against the illness.
Civic leader Teresita Ang See earlier bared that 100,000 Chinese working in Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) hubs have already been inoculated against the coronavirus using unregistered Chinese vaccines.
The information came following the Presidential Security Group's admission that a number of President Rodrigo Duterte’s close-in security detail have already been administered with smuggled COVID-19 vaccines despite having no authorization from the Food and Drug Administration.
“Ang tingin ko po, pinag-aaralan naman iyan at naimbestigahan po iyan ng NBI. Pero ang sa amin po, noong ako po ay nagkomento, sinabi naman talaga, nilinaw natin na hindi po kumpirmado ito dahil wala akong pagkakaalam tungkol diyan," Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a public briefing Monday.
"So, pabayaan po nating mag-imbestiga ang NBI dahil iyan po ay ang kanilang katungkulan," he said.
Roque earlier said that the alleged vaccination of the Chinese nationals are a good thing, as it would mean fewer carriers of COVID-19.
But Ang-See said the inoculation of Chinese workers was "unlawful," even though that she agrees with Malacañang that it was "good" that they have protection against the virus.
"I agree with Sec. Harry Roque na buti nga protected sila kasi (that it's good they're protected because) we don’t have any control as far as they are concerned. Sabi ko nga mabuti na they are resourceful, ingat lang na hindi peke ang vaccines. It will create more harm," said.
"My emphasis is it’s still unlawful that's why the government has to review, i-review ang polisiya ninyo (review its policies)."
The Philippine government has yet to authorize the emergency use of any COVID-19 vaccine in the country.