MANILA - Congress is "well within its rights" to investigate the illegal vaccination of President Rodrigo Duterte's close-in security, a senator said Wednesday.
The Senate on Monday began a legislative inquiry into the country's COVID-19 immunization plan. Senate President Vicente Sotto III earlier said the chamber would not summon the Presidential Security Group (PSG) to the hearings.
Sen. Richard Gordon said the PSG's immunization violated several laws as the vaccines used were smuggled and its administration was against the Medical Practices Act.
"The Senate, the Congress is well within its rights as a co-equal branch of the government to investigate not rudely but just to find to what happened," he told ANC's Headstart.
"It’s natural of him to be protective of his security but on the other hand you cannot stop the separation of powers."
The PSG should have gone through proper procedures, according to Gordon.
"I don’t mind them having (vaccination). They want to take a bullet for the President by taking this so-called questionable vaccine but they have to do it within the law," he said.
"When it comes to something that the public is going to use, the law requires that there be testing, certification by the FDA. Any health product must be registered with the FDA before it can be imported, distributed, used and administered."
Duterte had ordered his men to withhold information about the smuggled COVID-19 vaccines they received last year.