By Deighton Acuin and Archie Villaflores

PHOTO: Philippine Daily Inquirer

Malacañang on Friday said President Rodrigo Duterte was just joking when he bared that his former aide and now Senator Christopher “Bong” Go expressed his intention for the presidency.

Duterte earlier bared Go’s supposed intention for presidential office during his speech at the inauguration of a port in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental last Thursday.

“I will quote Senator Go: Parati naman pong nagbibiro ang ating President para merong light moment,” Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said in a press conference during the rollout of COVID-19 vaccination in Ilocos Norte.

Roque added the government’s priority is to accelerate the coronavirus inoculation program so the country can be placed under lenient quarantine rules at the soonest possible time.

“Ngayon po, ang members of the Cabinet, kani-kaniyang assignment na masiguro na mabakunahan ang medical frontliners at magpabakuna ang ating mga kababayan. ‘Yan po ang marching order ni Presidente,” he said.

The Philippines started its COVID-19 vaccination on March 1, the last one to do so among 10 Southeast Asian nations.

The country has only 1.12 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine so far from Sinovac and AstraZeneca, donated by the Chinese government and global initiative COVAX Facility, respectively.