‘Bakit defensive?’ Lacson takes swipe at ‘twisted answer’ to vaccine question

Panfilo Lacson

Sen. Panfilo Lacson, during the hybrid hearing of the Committee of the Whole on the national Covid-19 vaccination program on January 11, 2021. Senate PRIB file photo / Joseph Vidal

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Panfilo Lacson on Tuesday took a swipe at the “twisted answer” to his “simple question” on the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines in the country.

“Simple question: ‘NASAAN KA BAKUNA?’ Twisted answer: ‘DADATING NA YUNG BABAYARAN NATIN NA MGA BAKUNA, DOON PA SILA DAPAT MAGTANONG KUNG NASAAN NA YUNG PERA.’ Bakit defensive?” the senator said on Twitter.


(Simple question: “Where are you vaccine?” Twisted answer: “The vaccines we are paying will arrive, that is the time they should ask where is the money.” Why so defensive?)

During his weekly pre-recorded briefing aired Monday night, President Rodrigo Duterte said the money for the procurement of vaccines is still with the lending banks and not with the government.

He said the government would only pay the drug manufacturers once the vaccines had been delivered.

“Itong dadating, I think a day after tomorrow, is it? Dadating na ‘yong binabayaran natin…’yong babayaran pala natin. Doon pa dapat sila magtanong kung nasaan na ‘yong pera,” he added.


(The ones that are coming, I think a day after tomorrow, is it? The ones we are paying for…the ones we will pay for will arrive. That’s the time they can ask where the money is.)

The President’s pronouncement came after Lacson questioned where the government-procured vaccines are considering the billions of available funds, the bulk of which is from approved loans sourced from multilateral lenders.

So far, the vaccines currently available are the 600,000 doses of CoronaVac, which are made by Sinovac BioTech and donated by the Chinese government, and the 525,600 doses of AstraZeneca from the World Health Organization-led COVAX facility.

The government has only paid for the 15% downpayment for the arriving one million doses purchased from Sinovac BioTech.


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