By Eden Eve Lacea


President Rodrigo Duterte mentioned on Thursday that he intends to visit the United States of America (USA) to express his gratitude for their 5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses.

After receiving information about the vaccine donation in a public address, Duterte said that he might head to the US to express his appreciation.

“America is so kind. I might pay a visit just to thank the American government and the people,” he stated.

This was contrary to the statements he gave in his final State of the Nation Address (SONA) last July, wherein he expressed that he does not intend to visit the US.

Additionally, he also mentioned that he does not have any plans to visit unless the US Government returns the Balangiga Bells to the Philippines.

“But in my mind, the Americans might know it, there was never in my mind a trip to America,” he said in his July speech.

"I have not been to America, almost 10 years, 22 years, I have not visited America and I do not have any intention of visiting anymore," he added.

According to government data, Duterte cited that the Philippines already received more than 71 million COVID-19 vaccines.

He also added that 45 million vaccines had already been administered, and over 21 million citizens are fully-vaccinated.