News Release

President Duterte on Dengvaxia issue: I am not ready to condemn anybody

FORT BONIFACIO, Taguig City — After the ruckus wrought by the Dengvaxia controversy over the past weeks, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Wednesday, December 13, said he is not yet ready to condemn anybody.

“I cannot blame anybody. I am not prepared to condemn anybody there simply because binili nga natin ‘yun,” Duterte said in a media interview here after gracing the ceremonial demilitarization of seized firearms.

“Not as yet so I am not prepared to pass judgment. I can only inquire and hope that everything will give us the truth because anything here in this planet requires truth,” Duterte added.

The President explained that he is not an expert and will not assume that the deaths are due to the toxic effects of the drug. He added that he will reserve his judgment until the results of the official investigation of the Congress.

“Unless there is an investigation and the person whom we are trying to attribute the responsibility is given the chance to be heard and to air their findings in public,” Duterte said.

The Chief Executive said that if the vaccines, after thorough studies, would really help halt deaths caused by dengue, then he will also do the same thing.

“If there is anything that can save the lives of anyone of them or any Filipino for that matter, considering my position, I will order the implementation,” Duterte said.

Unfortunately though, according to the President, the Department of Health was also “ignorant” of the drug’s effects until a follow-up study was done.

“But ignorante man sila. There was also another follow-up study based on clinical studies that found the flaws, the errors maybe,” Duterte explained.

Duterte also mentioned that it would be unfair to destroy a billion dollar business, citing that if there is a failure, let the company sort it out.

The President however urged those involved in the Dengvaxia issue to tell the whole truth.

“The first instance na ano, sabihin mo na ang totoo para wala ka nang problema,” he said.

“Alam mo ang ano diyan, it’s good faith. If you really think in good faith that you are doing the right thing, nobody but nobody can question you except your conscience,” Duterte said. ### (PND)