- President defended predecessors, said he would’ve have ordered dengue vaccinations too
- He also said he could not yet judge whether past administration is liable over Dengvaxia fiasco
- He stressed the need of a probe first for the truth to come out
MANILA, Philippines – With worry mounting over the Dengvaxia fiasco, President Rodrigo Duterte said he too would’ve ordered the implementation of a nationwide dengue immunization program so long as it was done in good faith and for the public welfare.
“If you really think in good faith that you are doing the right thing, nobody but nobody can question you except your conscience,” the Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted him as saying.
“You know, I have 10 grandchildren. My God, I would… if there is anything that can save the lives of anyone of them or any Filipino for that matter, considering my position, I will order the implementation,” he added. “I cannot blame anybody. I am not prepared to condemn anybody there simply because we bought that. The amount is nothing to me…any amount that could save the Filipino, especially the children.”
As to the previous administration’s liability, Duterte said it was better to withhold judgment at this point since the probe is still currently ongoing.
“I am not prepared to pass judgment. I can only inquire and hope that everything will give us the truth because anything here in this planet requires truth,” he said.
“I am not an expert and I do not assume that those deaths are already automatically connected with the side or toxic effects of… unless there is an investigation and the person whom we are trying to attribute the responsibility is given the chance to be heard and to air their findings in public,” the president added.