President Rodrigo Duterte claimed that many Filipinos, including soldiers, have already been given shots of Sinopharm’s COVID vaccine. However, there is one problem—it has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
As a result, citizens have slammed the government as to why they gave a vaccine, especially soldiers even if it was unapproved.
Various statements were released in defense of the action but they were inconsistent with one another.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque defended the move by saying Filipinos should consider the smuggled vaccines as a “token” this Christmas season.
With his recent tweet, actor Enchong Dee slammed Roque because of the contradicting statements coming from the aides of the president. Enchong sarcastically took to Twitter his criticism regarding this said “token”. He pointed out that the Duterte administration doesn’t have a group chat so they don’t know what the other is doing.
Eto yung administration na walang group chat at gagamitin lahat ng words sa dictionary para makalusot sa batas na sila mismo ang lumalabag😂😂 https://t.co/xr1GMdWRLJ
— Enchong Dee (@enchongdee777) December 29, 2020
In fact, there is indeed a law which the government seriously broke. In a Twitter post of Tony Leachon, he cited a law where a drug, which is not FDA-approved, is considered as a counterfeit drug.
Counterfeit Drugs Sec 3, a, 5- definition of counterfeit drugs.
refer to “unregistered imported drug product.”
Even donation of vaccines and then used is prohibited by law without FDA approval.
It’s up to FDA Director Domingo. The ball is in his hands.
— Tony Leachon MD (@DrTonyLeachon) December 29, 2020
The SINOVAC vaccine, which did not pass through FDA procedures, is considered an illegal drug.
Adding to this, the term “token” that Roque used to defend the government for using the unregistered vaccine, is somewhat irrelevant. The reason is that the Duterte government is following a strict “no gift” policy as per R.A. 6713 or the “Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees“.
The law says: “Public officials and employees shall not solicit or accept, directly or indirectly, any gift, gratuity, favor, entertainment, loan or anything of monetary value from any person in the course of their official duties or in connection with any operation being regulated by, or any transaction which may be affected by the functions of their office.”
This means that the “token” Roque is referring to is illegal. Therefore, they should answer to the law imposed by the Philippine government.