Bayan Muna party-list Representative Ferdinand Gaite on Thursday branded as "selective" the investigation being sought by vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. on the inoculation of non-medical frontliners.
Galvez had cited the case of Gaite's fellow lawmaker, Quezon Rep. Angelina "Helen" Tan, a doctor by profession, who got vaccinated with the Sinovac vaccine as part of her surgeon son's allocation for the family at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center.
At a Makabayan Bloc press briefing, Gaite said the government should instead focus on investigating the smuggled vaccines as well as the inoculation of some VIP personalities.
"Selective itong si Galvez sa kung sino ang dapat imbestigahan. Talagang based doon sa sinasabi ni Cong. Helen Tan na health worker naman, actually doctor ang kaniyang anak, tama naman... sila dapat ang mauna. Lahat ng health care workers para 'yung mag-aadminister ng vaccine, safe and secure," Gaite said.
"Di puwedeng selective, there should be no sacred cows, or sabihin nating sacred pigs kasi parang binababoy 'yung sistema ng pagva-vaccine na may smuggled, di pa malaman kung nasaan. And yet selective ang ginagawang investigation ng vaccine czar who actually should be accountable in the delay of program," he added.
Tan has said she was vaccinated because she is also a frontliner, not just a mother of a physician.
In a separate statement, Tan said she also received the shot because she wanted to help in boosting the public confidence on the vaccine.
"As far as I know, I did not violate any existing laws, legal guidelines or regulations whatsoever when I took the jab," she said.
She said she is ready to submit herself to an investigation "to satisfy the thirst for strife and controversy of some misguided individuals."
Tan appealed to the public not to misconstrue her vaccination as a VIP treatment.
"I would like to ask the public not to perceive this as a VIP treatment, since it is totally false and misguided, inasmuch as I am a legal dependent, an immediate family member of a frontliner working as a medical professional at the VMMC," she said.
GMA News Online is still trying to reach Galvez for comment.
The Department of Health is already investigating the vaccination of VIP individuals, including members of the Presidential Security Group who had received smuggled vaccine shots from China.
Galvez has appealed to government officials to give way to healthcare workers in the vaccination rollout, noting that vaccine supply at present is limited and that medical frontliners should be prioritized.
The DOH said it would also look into the reported inoculation of non-healthcare workers. -MDM, GMA News