Philippines hopes it will be prioritized by China on COVID-19 cure

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 16 2020 03:03 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands prior to their bilateral meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on October 20, 2016. King Rodriguez, Malacañang Photo/File

MANILA- The Philippines is hopeful that it will be prioritized by China once the latter finds a cure for the new coronavirus disease, Malacañang said Thursday.

China will hopefully prioritize helping the Philippines in addressing the pandemic given the warm ties between President Rodrigo Duterte's administration and Beijing, his spokesman Harry Roque said.

"Inaasahan natin dahil BFF (Best Friends Forever) naman tayo ng China na 'pag sila nagkaroon ng gamot na ganyan eh unahin naman nila tayo," Roque said in a virtual press briefing.

(We expect that since we are BFFs with China, they will prioritize us once they find a cure.)

"Alangan naman unahin pa nila 'yung mga kalaban nila," he said.

(Why help their enemies first anyway.)

So far, the world has yet to find a cure or vaccine for COVID-19.

Duterte earlier this week said Chinese and other foreign companies are currently developing treatments against COVID-19 as he thanked his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping for support.

"I would like to thank President Xi Jinping for his support. Kung galing ng China, wala kayong problema," Duterte said in a public address on Monday.

(If it's from China, there's no problem.)

"If China catches up with them, okay na. Then, maybe a miracle will happen and civilization is back on its feet. That is how I see it," he added.

Duterte also expressed the Philippines' willingness to participate in clinical trials for the anti-flu drug Avigan from Japan, which is being tested as a drug for COVID-19.

The Philippines has so far recorded the most number of COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia, with a cumulative 5,453 confirmed cases, including 349 deaths, and 353 recoveries.