Vice President Leni Robredo has expressed incredulity over the police’s decision to charge her with inciting to sedition over the videos linking President Rodrigo Duterte’s family to the illegal drug trade.

Robredo denies planning Duterte’s ouster: ‘Di ako bobo!

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Vice President Leni Robredo has expressed incredulity over the police’s decision to charge her with inciting to sedition over the videos linking President Rodrigo Duterte’s family to the illegal drug trade.

Robredo laughed off her inclusion in the list of personalities charged by the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP CIDG) over the “Ang Totoong Narco List” on her weekly radio show Sunday (July 21).

“[H]indi naman tayo sobrang bobo na nag-iimagine tayo na mapapataob natin ang napaka… ang Presidente na napakataas ang rating… na gagamitin itong isang tao na obviously sinungaling,” she said.

Robredo and 35 others, most of whom are opposition figures, were accused of plotting President Rodrigo Duterte’s ouster through the “Ang Totoong Narco List” video series.

One of the CIDG’s witnesses was Peter Joemel Advincula, the ex-convict who claimed to be the whistleblower “Bikoy” in the videos.

Robredo hit the CIDG’s “sloppiness” for using Advincula’s claims against her and other opposition figures in filing the cases even if his credibility is dubious.

“Sana hindi naman ito reflective ng sloppiness ng— Ang trabaho nila, iyong sloppiness ng trabaho, sana hindi ito reflective ng buong kapulisan, kasi kung oo, kawawa naman tayo,” she said.

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Konting tulog na lang! 525,600 doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine arriving in PH on March 1

Around 525,600 doses of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine from the United Kingdom’s AstraZeneca will be delivered to the Philippines on Monday (March 1), Malacañang announced on Saturday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Philippines will receive the AstraZeneca vaccines through the Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) facility, a global initiative that guarantees access to Covid-19 vaccines worldwide.

“We are pleased to inform you that the Philippines will receive 525,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines on Monday, March 1, 2021, around noontime, as part of the first round of allocated doses from the COVAX facility,” Roque said in a press statement.

The AstraZeneca vaccines that will arrive in the Philippines form part of the 44 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine from COVAX to inoculate 20 percent of the country’s population, Roque said.

Roque thanked the World Health Organization (WHO), the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for the delivery of Covid-19 vaccines developed by AstraZeneca.

The COVAX Facility is co-led by WHO, GAVI, and CEPI.

“We are grateful to everyone — from our medical front-liners to our fellow Filipinos and foreign partners — who stand by us in this challenging time. Together, we will heal and recover as one nation and one people,” Roque said.

In a text message, Senator Christopher Lawrence Go said President Rodrigo Duterte will also lead the turnover ceremony for the AstraZeneca vaccines.

The Philippines is set to receive some 44 million Covid-19 vaccine doses allocated by the COVAX Facility within the year.

The country is also expected to have access to up to 9.2 million AstraZeneca vaccines.

The Covid-19 vaccines developed AstraZeneca vaccines will be delivered just a day after the country is also scheduled to receive the first batch of Covid-19 vaccines from China’s Sinovac Biotech.

Duterte would lead on Sunday the simple turnover of 600,000 doses of the Sinovac vaccine. (PNA)

Pwedeng maging choosy! Healthcare workers still priority for vaccination even if they refuse Sinovac

Front-line health care workers will not lose their coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccination priority slots even if they refuse to get inoculated with the Chinese-based Sinovac Biotech’s vaccines, Malacañang guaranteed on Saturday.

In an online presser, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said medical front-liners have the privilege to choose the vaccine they want.

“Ang pagbabago po sa ating protocol, kung ayaw po ng health care worker ang Sinovac, pupuwede po siyang tumanggi at hindi mawawala ang kaniyang prayoridad kapag dumating na ‘yung bakunang gusto niya (The new protocol is health care workers who do not want Sinovac can refuse to be vaccinated, and they will not lose their priority status when the vaccine they prefer arrive in the country),” Roque said.

He gave the assurance a day before the arrival of 600,000 doses of Sinovac vaccine, the first batch that will be delivered to the country.

Roque reiterated that medical workers would not be forced into receiving Sinovac vaccine jabs.

“Walang sapilitan. Walang mahuhuli sa pila. Walang mababago sa pila (There will be no coercion. They will not be last in line. There will be no changes in the vaccination priority list),” he said.

Roque, however, clarified that the new rule would only apply to health care workers.

“Pang-health care workers lang po iyan. Sa lahat po, kinakailangan po talaga kung ano ang naririyan ay tatanggapin natin. Kung ayaw naman po ay wala talagang sapilitan (That’s just for health care workers. So the rest must accept whatever vaccine is available. If they do not like it, they will not be forced to have it),” he said.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has approved the recommendation of the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group and the Department of Health’s Technical Advisory Group to allow the administration of Sinovac vaccines to front-line medical workers.

The IATF-EID’s approval came despite results of clinical trials, which showed that Sinovac only has a 50.4-percent efficacy rate among health care workers exposed to Covid-19.

On Wednesday, Roque said the government decided to administer the Sinovac vaccine to “economic front-liners” from 18 to 59 years old.

Roque said Cabinet officials and even Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo may also be among the first in line to receive the Covid-19 vaccines from Sinovac.

In his latest remarks, he said health care workers would still be given priority.

“Inuuna po natin muna ang ating mga health care worker dahil sa pag-aaral mas makakabigay po talaga ng kumpiyansa sa ating taumbayan kung makita nila ang kanilang mga health care worker na naunahang mabakunahan (We will prioritize health care workers because studies have shown that we would be able to boost public confidence if health care workers get inoculated first with the vaccine),” Roque said. (PNA)

Ano ba kasing nangyari? Duterte meets chiefs of PNP, PDEA over ‘misencounter’

President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Friday night met with Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief, Gen. Debold Sinas, and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Wilkins Villanueva following the supposed misencounter between the two agencies’ operatives earlier this week.

In an announcement aired over state-run PTV-4 on Saturday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte has assured Sinas and Villanueva that the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) would conduct a fair probe into the recent shootout involving PNP and PDEA personnel.

“Pinaliwanag ng Pangulo kung bakit inatasan niya ang National Bureau of Investigation o NBI na mamuno sa imbestigasyon. Gusto ng Presidente na magkaroon ng impartial na imbestigasyon (The President explained why he had directed the National Bureau of Investigation or NBI to lead the investigation. The President wants an impartial investigation),” Roque, who also attended the meeting, said.

The meeting, he said, was also attended by Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, NBI Deputy Director Antonio Pagatpat, and Senator Christopher Lawrence Go.

Duterte designated the NBI to be the sole agency to investigate the shootout to give those involved in the incident some peace of mind, Roque said.

“Para maiwasan ang mga malilikot na mag-isip at para rin sa peace of mind ng mga biktima na patas ang imbestigasyon (The President’s fresh directive was meant to stop people from raising doubts and to give victims peace of mind that the investigation would be fair),” he said.

On Wednesday night, personnel of the Quezon City Police District special operations conducted a drug buy-bust operation at a fast-food chain parking lot when they found out they were transacting with PDEA agents.

The botched undercover drug bust led to a gunfight that killed two policemen, a PDEA agent, and a PDEA informant.

Four PDEA agents were wounded in the shootout.

Before Duterte’s latest order, an ad hoc joint PNP-PDEA team was formed to investigate the shooting incident.

Upon the President’s directive, the ad hoc joint panel’s investigation will no longer proceed. (PNA)

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