President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night took a swipe at Vice President Leni Robredo after she urged him to be among the first to get inoculated against COVID-19 to allay fears over vaccines.
In his nationally televised address, Duterte slammed Robredo saying Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine, which was the only available vaccine in the country so far, was not suitable for senior citizens like him.
“You know in the protocol, the preferential right is given to 18 above tapos 59. Ako, mareng Leni, 70 na eh. Masyado kang apurado sa protocol eh. We are not even considered as those needing or occupy a priority in the application of COVID. Mahirap kasi yang ano mo, you are baiting me,” Duterte said.
“Nagdududa ka kasi na nagpabakuna na ako kasama ng mga sundalo kaya panay ang tikoy tikoy, ginaganoon mo ako. Sige magsalita ka. You seem to have an angel face but a devilish mind,” he added.
Duterte then offered to provide Robredo with the funding to purchase COVID-19 vaccines.
“Sabihin ko sa’yo ulit kung marunong kang makinig, walang bakuna ngayong available. Either hingin mo, nakawin mo o bayaran mo,” he said.
“Kung gusto mo talaga, para mahinto ka, kunin mo ‘yong basket mo, mamalengke ka doon sa labas, bigyan kita ng pera para ‘pag may mabili ka, bilhin mo na kaagad at umuwi ka sa Pilipinas. Bigay mo doon sa mga doktor,” he added.
Duterte also accused Robredo of “wanting to be relevant” after she joined the call for the Sinovac vaccine’s further assessment.
“Iyan ang mahirap sa iyo eh, you want to be relevant… You know, sometimes you make an idiotic stance. Iyong mga ganoong 'they deserve the best'," Duterte said.
"Bakit ako? I would give them the worst? Mamatay ka na. Hindi ko iwanan ‘yong mga frontliners and you do not need to really be redundant about it," he added.
Further, Duterte wanted Robredo to be in Malacañang when he gets vaccinated.
“Ngayon pag injection ko gusto ko nandiyan ka sa Malacañang. Matanda naman ako, kalahati lang sa akin. ‘Yong kalahati iturok sa iyo to add protection to your health,” he said.
In January, Robredo said it was important for the Filipino public to see Duterte getting vaccinated against COVID-19 to allay vaccine fears.
In her radio show, Robredo reiterated that she was willing to get a COVID-19 jab in public but stressed that Duterte must go first.
Robredo said several other heads of state, such as US President Joe Biden and Indonesian President Joko Widodo, had gotten COVID-19 vaccinated in public.
On Sunday, Duterte said he wanted to get vaccinated against the virus but was still waiting for his doctor's clearance on which brand to get inoculated with.
Duterte also said Robredo was better qualified to get the Sinovac jab.
“Siya ang apurado, siya ang mauna,” he said. “She’s young, I am not. I have to defer to my doctor… Bakit dadramahin pa ‘yang sino mauna? Ako, magpabakuna. Ang problema, ang doktor ko may hinihintay.”
Robredo’s spokesman earlier said the Vice-president was willing to get vaccinated in public to boost trust in vaccines. — DVM, GMA News