Bong Go says interest in COVID-19 vaccine only a 'joke'; public must be inoculated first

Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 23 2020 10:04 PM

MANILA - Senator Christopher “Bong” Go on Monday night said he only “asked” about an anti-COVID-19 vaccine in jest during President Rodrigo Duterte's meeting with legislators last September 16.

The meeting’s agenda that day was mainly about the President’s disgust on red tape and the PhilHealth mess.

Go, in a Viber exchange with ABS-CBN News, said he still prefers to wait for an anti-COVID vaccine cleared by the Food and Drug Administration.

“Nagtanong lang kami sa kanila. Biruan lang. Pero inaantay muna namin ang FDA. Dapat safe para sa lahat. Dapat pasado sa FDA para siguradong safe po,” Go said.

(We just asked them. It was just a joke. But we are waiting for FDA. We should be safe. It should be approved by FDA so we can be sure it is safe.)

Once approved by the FDA, the “vulnerable sector” must be prioritized, he said.

Go made the statement hours after Senate President Vicente Sotto III told media how he learned about the anti-COVID-19 vaccine reportedly received by Senator Panfilo Lacson and House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez.

“When was I in Malacañang with the President… si Martin Romualdez ang nagkukwento kay President nandudun ako. Then, Pres. Duterte asked me ako yung nasa kanan niya eh, sabi niya ‘o ano, halika tayong dalawa testing na tayo’, sabi nya sa akin. Sabi ko, ‘teka muna sir hintayin muna natin silang dalawa. Saka yung mga ibang nagpa-testing. Tingnan muna natin yung resulta. Baka one of these days sabihin sa akin ni Ping “who you” hahaha!’ sabi ni Pres, ‘sige isipin natin,” Sotto in a Zoom interview with reporters said. 

(When I was in Malacañang with the President, Martin Romualdez was there, he was telling the president, I was there. Then President Duterte asked me, I was there on his right, he told me, let's get injected. I said, wait sir, let's wait for them and those who got injected. Let's wait for the result. Maybe one of these days Ping (Lacson) will tell me, 'Who you' The president said let's think about it.)

“Yan si Bong.’ Si Bong Go gusto rin. Sabi niya ‘sama ko’ pero wala hindi natuloy parang napagkwentuhan lang ni Martin na sila daw nila Ping nagpa-test na kaagad. Nagpa-injection ng immunization. Sinubukan parang ganun,” he added.

(He said Bong, Bong Go is also interested. But it didn't push through, it's like they just talked about it, that Martin and Ping got injected. They tried it.)

Sotto said while he doesn’t see anything wrong with Lacson and Romualdez’s decision to get vaccinated, he prefers not to avail of the vaccine even if it will be available soon.

Sotto also appealed to those criticizing Lacson and Romualdez for getting the vaccine.

“Bakit ba hot na hot kayo kung may nagpa-immunize na (congressman) or senador? Bakit ba big deal? Eh ang daming ibang gamot na iniinom ng mga public official government official...Tigilan ninyo na si Senator Lacson at si Senator Romualdez,” he added.

(Why are you making a big deal out of it? Public officials, government officials take a lot of medicines.)

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