By Corina Oliquino

MANILA — Manila Mayor Isko Moreno on December 15, ordered the city’s police and health officials to probe any unauthorized COVID-19 vaccination activity in Binondo.

“If true, this is definitely unauthorized since the undersigned has not ordered the same nor is, he aware or informed that any national government agency will already conduct the said activity,” Moreno said.

“Moreover, the national government has not yet approved any form of COVID-19 vaccination,” he added, noting an unauthorized vaccination poses a great danger to the public’s health.

In a memorandum addressed to acting City Health Officer Dr. Arnold Pangan, OIC of the Bureau of Permits Levi Facundo and Manila Police District’s Director Police Brigadier Gen. Leo Francisco, Moreno ordered the officials to submit their findings within two days “so criminal charges could be filed against those who are involved in the illegal activity.” 

Filipino businessman admits getting COVID-19 vaccine

In an interview with Dobol B sa News TV, Filipino businessman Roberto said he received a jab of a China-made vaccine at a friend’s house in November in the presence of a doctor and a nurse, both Filipino.

“Yung ginamit ko (na vaccine) made in China, kasi nga nagbibiruan kami, sabi ko siguro ito yung effective kasi dun nagsimula yung virus eh,” he said, noting he was with four friends during the inoculation. 

Roberto said he received the shot after doing his own research and following advice from friends.

“Hindi ko naman ito dinesisyunan agad-agad (after) pagkasabi sa akin na available na pare ang vaccine dito… inalam ko rin. Tinanong ko yung mga pinakamatagal na gumamit, hanggang ngayon naman okay ang hitsura nila,” he said, noting he and his businessmen friends did not feel any side effects after receiving two doses of the vaccines a fortnight apart. 

After two weeks babalik ka ulit para yung second bakuna mo, kasi oobserbahan kung may violent reaction sa katawan mo, nilagnat ka ba or may something na nangyari,” he added. 

Roberto said his friend paid for the vaccine to express confidence they were not victims of a scam, noting many of his friends have received the vaccine as well as some politicians, including a senator. 

So, hindi siya puwedeng sabihin na hindi totoo yung vaccine kasi yung tatak niya ay pinag-uusapan ngayon sa balita,” he said.

Roberto said he does not mean “to disrespect the national government,” which is still in the process of securing vaccines for COVID-19 from various sources and is targeting two Chinese pharmaceutical companies for the vaccines: Sinovac and Sinopharm.

“Ang amin lang dito, yung mga mayayamang bansa, yung mga neighboring countries natin dito sa Asya meron na, bakit sa atin nagtatagal? Sa amin lang naman dito we need to protect the business, yung economy natin dapat nang gumalaw,” he said. 

Similar to Pfizer

In a report by GMA News, Senate President Vicente Sotto III earlier claimed that Sen. Panfilo Lacson and House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez received a COVID-19 vaccine similar to Pfizer’s. 

“Si Sen. Lacson, ang tapang. Immunized na ‘yun, nagpa-injection na ‘yun. Nauna na siya, sila ni Martin Romualdez… parang pareho sa Pfizer, Sotto said in a radio interview.

In a Dobol B sa News TV interview, Lacson did not directly answer whether he had been vaccinated against COVID-19.

“Hindi ko sinasabing biro, hindi ko sinasabing totoo. Basta’t ganu’n. Kapag nasa lounge kami at inaabot na kami ng madaling araw tapos kinabukasan maaga na naman kami, siyempre nagpapalabas kami ng stress,” he said.

Romualdez has yet to respond to a request for comment from reporters, according to the report.

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