News Release

Cabinet members elated by President’s order on Senate probe

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte presides over a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members prior to his talk to the people at the Malacañang Palace on October 6, 2021. KING RODRIGUEZ/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Government officials at the forefront of government fight against COVID-19 on Wednesday said they felt unburdened by President Duterte’s order preventing them from attending Senate hearings, saying they can now concentrate on doing their job.

“Sir, actually nagpapasalamat ang buong DOH kasi talagang noong Monday, sir, emotional nga kami sir ni Sec. Duque na first time namin after two months na magkakita-kita ulit na doon sa vaccination site sa Clark,” vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said during President Duterte’s public address on government’s pandemic response.

“Tuwang-tuwa po sila, sir sa ginawa niyo po, sir, actually, kasi sabi nila ito ‘yung minamahal naming trabaho. At least nakatutok na kami saka wala kaming distraction.”

Galvez said the senators doing the investigation haven’t realized the pressure on health officials and personnel who felt demonized by plunder accusations.

“Tuwang-tuwa po, sir, sila because they’re back to their own work na talagang iyon ang gusto nilang mangyari na talagang makapag-concentrate po sila sa kanilang mga trabaho dahil marami pong buhay ang nakasalalay po sa kanilang mga kamay po, Mr. President.”

Without the pressure, the vaccine coordinator said they can now concentrate on their job of running the National Vaccination Operation Center.

He said the Vaccination Operations for the fourth quarter of 2021 as well as for the first quarter of 2022 and 2023 are now being crafted.

For his part, President Duterte said everybody should know that the power of Congress is not without limit, adding he wants the Supreme Court to decide on the issue.

The Senate inquiry on the alleged anomalous deals on the purchase of medical equipment is a distraction to government officials and personnel working to defeat the pandemic.

“Iyan ang sinasabi ko, instead of spending your time there sitting down with nothing to do, hindi naman kayo pinapatawag to talk, pinapatawag kayo doon para umupo lang, then you see that all of these things [vaccines] are arriving almost daily,” the President told Galvez.

“And ikaw ‘yung czar vaccine, eh kailangan kita doon sa ano mag-supervise nang pagbaba niyan, then that everything is handled right, and it’s delivered to the itong cold storage to preserve their efficacy.” PND