Palace spox tells Cagayan de Oro solon: 'I do not lie' about COVID-19 vaccine distribution

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 17 2021 04:30 PM

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Malacañang spokesman Harry Roque said on Thursday he did not lie about the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, after a lawmaker questioned his statement that the deliveries were equitable. 

Deputy Speaker and Cagayan de Oro 2nd District Rep. Rufus Rodriguez earlier said authorities were "taking their sweet time" distributing the bulk of coronavirus shots in Metro Manila, despite his request for additional jabs. 

"Napabayaan talaga, maski anong sabihin n’ya," he said in a media interview on Tuesday, in reaction to Roque's denial that Visayas and Mindanao were neglected in the vaccine distribution. 

"According to him, there is always that equitable distribution. How can it be equitable when cities with a large surge of COVID-19 gets the same proportional distribution?" 

This is why President Rodrigo Duterte ordered a "recalibration" of the distribution, added the lawmaker. 

"He claimed that I lied, and I take offense with that," Roque told a news briefing Thursday. "I merely repeated what the President said. He ordered a more equitable distribution of vaccines." 

He said 1.7 million COVID-19 shots have been delivered to Mindanao, including 35,000 doses that went to Rodriguez's district. 

"Let's be more careful about alleging other public officials [are] lying to the public because I do not lie," Roque said. 

Duterte has imposed tighter restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19 in 9 cities and 12 provinces, including those in Visayas and Mindanao, from June 16 t o 30.