Palace: Duterte can create 'correct but unpopular' call over PSG vaccination

 By Jennylou Canon

PHOTO: Manila Bulletin

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said on Tuesday that the President’s decision to forbid the attendance of his Presidential Security Group (PSG) to the Senate probe on unregistered COVID-19 vaccine usage is part of his executive privilege to “make correct” decisions even when not favoured by the public.

“The concept of executive privilege arises from separation of power and the fact that the President must be allowed to make correct, even if unpopular decisions,” Roque said in a press briefing.

Roque added that President Rodrigo Duterte’s move on blocking PSG’s attendance is only applicable to the Senate investigation, while the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Bureau of Customs (BOC), and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can resume their investigations.

“Malinaw po ang mensahe ng Presidente, para po iyan sa Kongreso,” he said.

Roque also insisted that Duterte did not know the source of the vaccine nor how the military was vaccinated after Philippine Army Chief Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said that Duterte made the order through the direction of the “chain of command of the armed forces.”

“Hindi po nagpaalam, hindi nagbigay ng consent, nabalitaan na lang niya (Duterte) na maraming nagpaturok, kaya sabi lang niya, c’est la vie (carry on),” Roque stated.

On Monday during his weekly nation address, Duterte told PSG Chief Jesus Durante to disobey possible summons from the Congress to testify on the much-criticized inoculation as part of “self preservation.” Furthermore, if they decide to attend any legislative investigation, he ordered them not to disclose any information.


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