President Rodrigo Duterte's special envoy to China has admitted getting inoculated against COVID-19 with a smuggled vaccine and looking to put up a Sinopharm distributorship in the country.
In an interview on One News, journalist Ramon Tulfo said he didn't see any conflict of interest in his getting vaccinated with a Chinese vaccine and his bid to be a distributor for the Chinese firm all while being the Chief Executive's special envoy.
"You have to understand that although I'm special envoy to China, I'm also a private citizen. Naga-apply ako ng distributorship ng Sinopharm," Tulfo said.
"Kaya ko naisipan na magpabakuna kasi ang available sa market although smuggled nga kaya ay gusto kong makatiyak na kung effective sa akin, malamang effective sa sambayanan," he added.
Tulfo said he was already 74 years old and had several allergies.
"I never used my position as special envoy in securing the vaccines. I just got hold of the vaccine through a friend who smuggled it into the country," Tulfo said.
"Hindi ko ginamit yung posisyon ko kasi dito ko nakuha yung vaccine. Hindi nga ako makapunta ng China kasi nga may pandemic di ba?" he added.
Told of the massive inoculation program expected in the country, his connections to China, and his distribution plan, Tulfo insisted that he was only a private citizen.
"Wala akong nakitang conflict of interest dito. Private citizen naman ako e. Ang special envoy to China is just an honorific," Tulfo said.
"I'm not a government official," he added.
Tulfo said he talked to Duterte a week or two ago and was told that the President wanted to be inoculated with the Sinopharm vaccine.
He said government officials were blocking Duterte's access to the Chinese vaccine. -NB, GMA News