Vaccines and leadership, Sinovac and Transparency

Diliman Way

With Homobono A. Adaza

“Without global vaccination, we will not see
the end of the corona virus.” – Doctor Anthony Fauci

Dr. Anthony Fauci is the most heard authority on the corona virus. National leaders should listen to him to help control the Xi Jing Ping China corona virus for good. Our national leaders should demonstrate the kind of leadership necessary to convince our people they should submit to vaccination to successfully contain the corona virus in our country. What should they do?

President Duterte and his Cabinet, Speaker of the House of Representative and all its members, President of the Senate with all the senators, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court with all the justices, all medical personnel, all governors with all the members of the Board, all city mayors with all the members of the city council, all municipal mayors with all members of the municipal council, all barangay chairmen with all members of the barangay councils, all member of IATF, Chief of Staff and all the members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, PNP Chief and all policemen throughout the country.

Why should they be vaccinated first? They are the leaders who should show the people by example. Estimated thirty percent of the population is not willing to be vaccinated for several reasons – our disastrous Denvaxia experience, the flood of misinformation about the dangers of vaccination in social media and the uncertainty of the efficacy of the vaccines

So there is need for accurate information and the best of way of convincing our people is to for our leaders to show that vaccination is safe and it is necessary to contain or get rid of the corona virus. What more do our people need if they see President Duterte and the rest of his gang openly and publicly vaccinated in full view of national and local television networks?

SINOVAC and transparency: The government has decided to purchase Sinovac from China. Initially, as reported by media, it is only sixty-one (61%) percent effective. Reports from Brazil, however, is that Sinovac has only fifty-one (51%) percent efficacy. Whatever it is, its efficacy is much lover than that of Pfizer, Moderna and Astrazeneca which have ninety-six (96%) percent efficacy. As it less effective than the others, why buy it? There are only three possible reasons for buying it – it is given at a discount, the friendship of Duterte and Xi Jin Ping, and there are other considerations involved other than the money. Is any of this or all of these the reasons why Duterte and General Galvez not revealing the price of the purchase of the vaccines?

Concealment of a matter which the public should know is bad policy. Why is the price of the vaccine a secret? Secrecy always leads to speculation and suspicion. When you do not like anyone to know about something, you conceal or hide it. When you commit a crime, you keep it a secret. When you have a clandestine love affair, you hide it. If, as President Ramon Magsaysay used to say, when doing something or announcing a state policy, can this purchase of the Sinovac be defended at Plaza Miranda?

It is bad enough that graft and corruption is rampant, according to President Duterte. It is worse if you are not transparent on matters which the public deserve to know. When will this administration ever learn? Almost every time the Duterte administration gives a solution, it creates a problem. That is the case here, especially because the money used in the purchase is the money of the people, not the money of Duterte or Galvez or both.

Presidential security guards and Teresita Ang See: A few weeks ago, there was so much brouhaha about how the vaccines were acquired to inoculate the security guards of President Duterte. Government sources gave contradictory reasons – smuggled and legally imported. It was on the verge of triggering

a congressional investigation but it was dead on its tracks when Duterte publicly declared a warning to everyone not to mess with his security men. In the Duterte administration, smuggled or not makes no difference – after all, the Duterte administration has fondness of violating our laws, even the Constitution, and getting away with it. So reminiscent of Machiavelli, the end justifies the means.

Clarifying with complete authority, Fil-Chinoy civic leader Teresita Ang See said that the vaccines were not smuggled but were legally purchased. As a matter of fact, said See, the very powerful Fil-Chinoy community, more Chinoy than Fil, legally imported one hundred thousand (100,000) Sinovac vaccines for the purpose of inoculating its constituency. So there it is – right from the horse’s mouth.

What to do: President Duterte, General Galvez and Secretary Duque should inform our people whether the inoculations of Sinovac vaccines were successful. Are they all in fine condition? Did anyone suffer any undesirable ill effects or unwanted results?

That is their duty under section 1, Article XI of the Constitution and their oath of office. Are the results also secrets? If secrets, there are two quotations worth remembering – one from President Duterte and the other from Mahatma Gandhi. From Duterte – “There is always time for reckoning.” And from Mahatma Gandhi – “Bad means never make for good ends.” HAA

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