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LACSON CALLS FOR REPLACEMENT OF 'CAPTAIN BALL'

Locsin won't say who dropped the ball on Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines from US


Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Wednesday refused to name who dropped the ball on the supposed delivery to the Philippines of 10 million doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine this coming January.

Locsin was present during the Commission on Appointments' deliberation on the nomination and ad interim appointment of three Foreign Affairs officials when Senator Panfilo Lacson asked him: "Who dropped the ball?"

In a Twitter post on Tuesday, Locsin said somebody committed a mistake which apparently affected the shipping of Pfizer vaccines to the country.

"I think it's enough that I really lost my temper because [Ambassador to US] Babe [Romualdez] and I worked really hard and we don't like to see our efforts wasted but never mind, I don't want to lose my temper on Zoom," Locsin said, responding to Lacson's query.

"I understand, Mr. Secretary. I had an SMS exchange with Ambassador Romualdez and you don't need to tell me because I know now who dropped the ball," the senator replied.

After announcing on Twitter that "somebody dropped the ball," Locsin was asked by GMA News' Joseph Morong if the Philippines may no longer expect Pfizer vaccines.

The Foreign Affairs chief, apparently referring to vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said: "General Galvez is ordering. He is our savior. Note that he is a general. The generals are getting things done."

Some countries such as the United Kingdom and the US have already approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for local use as final results from the late-stage trial show it was 95% effective, with no serious side effects.  

'Captain ball'

In a Twitter post on Wednesday, Lacson hinted that someone should be replaced.

"Mr Secretary, who dropped the ball? We couldn’t care less if he’s your captain ball. Huddle with your coach to replace him immediately. This is one game we can’t lose," the senator said.

GMA News Online asked Lacson to name who he was referring to but he just said: "I think you can figure that out. As I said, he's the captain ball. He keeps dropping the ball but he stays in the game. The coach refuses to replace him. Wonder of wonders!"

In the earlier part of the year, several senators called for the resignation of Health Secretary Franciso Duque III for alleged failure of leadership amid the COVID-19 pandemic but President Rodrigo Duterte repeatedly vouched for his integrity and capability.

Lacson previously said in April that the country will lose in the game with Duque as its captain ball.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque told a news conference earlier that he had “no idea who dropped the ball.”

Roque reiterated this on Wednesday, adding that Galvez had no personal knowledge as well.

“Galvez is [the] vaccine czar and he doesn’t know either. What matters is we're full speed ahead on acquiring the vaccine from all sources,” the Palace official said.—with Virgil Lopez/AOL, GMA News

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