Harry Roque to pro-American critics: “Nasaan ngayon si Uncle Sam?“
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque recently asked his pro-American critics about Uncle Sam’s whereabouts.
In a report on Philstar, Roque claimed that the Philippines had yet to receive a single COVID-19 vaccine from the United States despite it being the top donor of the WHO-led COVAX facility, COVID-19 vaccines from which arrived in the Philippines last March.
Based on a News5 report, Roque said in a Federation Of Filipino Chinese Chambers Of Commerce & Industry, Inc. online forum that the Philippines would only have the United States as an ally if President Rodrigo Duterte lost the 2016 elections.
“If the President did not come to power, our only BFF will be the Americans. Have we gotten a single vial of vaccine from the Americans? The answer is no. So tanong ko sa mga maiingay na oposisyon na maka-Amerikano, nasaan ngayon si Uncle Sam?” Roque said.
“NASAAN NGAYON SI UNCLE SAM?”— News5 (@News5PH) April 7, 2021
Kung iba ang naging presidente ng bansa at hindi si Pres. Rodrigo Duterte, baka umaasa pa rin ang bansa sa bakuna ng Amerika, ayon kay Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.
Dumalo si Roque sa online dialogue kasama ang Filipino-Chinese community. pic.twitter.com/ztmbgeG3IR
Philstar also reported that Roque’s claim was disputed by figures from the US Embassy in Manila.
In a March 5 release, the US Embassy in Manila said that the United States had donated USD 2 billion or Php 97.2 billion to the facility, “by far the largest contribution”, in order to ensure that the Philippines and other countries” will get the vaccine doses.
The PHP 97.2 billion was only part of the American government’s total planned donation of USD 4 billion, or PHP 194.4 billion.
Other countries such as Germany (USD 1 billion), United Kingdom (USD 735 million), the European Union (USD 489 million), and Japan (USD 200 million), to name a few, have contributed to COVAX as well.
The U.S. welcomes the arrival of 487,200 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from the COVAX facility in the Philippines on Mar. 4. The U.S., through USAID, has donated Php97.2 billion ($2B) to COVAX as part of a total $4 billion U.S. donation. Source: https://t.co/865xSBV2Ri pic.twitter.com/8BH4RVjUoY— U.S. Embassy in the Philippines (@USEmbassyPH) March 5, 2021
So far, the Philippines had secured free COVID-19 vaccines only from the WHO-led COVAX facility and China’s Sinovac Biotech.
Roque on updates about Sinopharm
Meanwhile, Roque bared that Sinopharm wasn’t too keen on distributing its COVID-19 vaccine in the Philippines because of the presence of fake vaccines in the country.
According to him, Sinopharm was hesitant to enter the Philippines because of the entry of fake vaccines that were being sold in Binondo — a district in the city of Manila.
Roque also said that it had been confirmed that there were fake Sinopharm vaccines that entered the Philippines, adding that the Chinese government traced and ordered the closure of the factory that produced the fake COVID-19 vaccines.
“Yung Sinopharm is hesitant to enter the Philippines kasi may nakapasok na fake Sinopharm na binenta sa Binondo. Kaya ‘yan ang concern ni Sinopharm, ‘pag pumasok siya, tapos maraming adverse effects ‘yung fake na Sinopharm, siya mapagbibintangan,” Roque said.
Moreover, Roque said that he discussed with the Philippine Ambassador to China Jose Santiago “Chito” Sta. Romana the possible procurement of Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines.
Last month, Sinopharm filed an application for emergency use authorization (EUA) for its COVID-19 vaccine.