Individuals selling vaccination slots will be held accountable, says President Duterte


MANILA, June 1 — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Monday, May 31, cautioned people selling vaccination slots, noting they may face criminal charges if they continue their illegal activity.

“It has come to the knowledge of everybody sa Task Force that there are an alleged illegal sale of COVID-19 vaccination slots in Mandaluyong City,” the President said in his weekly public address on COVID-19 interventions.

“It is good that Chairman Benhur Abalos ng MMDA and Mandaluyong Mayor Menchie Abalos have acted on this quickly.”

President Duterte reiterated that the vaccines should be given to people for free, adding that they only need to go to local vaccination centers for the jabs.

“We will not allow… All vaccines of our people are given for free, libre ‘yan. Huwag kayong magbayad. Wala kayong gastusin niyan,” he said. “Selling vaccination slot goes against the principle of equitable vaccine distribution.”

People could be charged with theft if they engaged in the sale of slots, while government officials could be charged with violation of the anti-graft and corrupt practices law.

The chief executive then said that he is directing the Department of Justice (DOJ) to determine which specific charges can be use against violators.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año noted that people engaged in such activity could be charged with unauthorized sale of unregistered product since COVID-19 vaccines are being used under emergency use authorization (EUA), and therefore cannot be commercialized.

“Mayroon po kaming nakita po ‘yong violation ng Section 11 ng FDA law or FDA Act, ito po ‘yong unauthorized sale po ng unregistered product dahil po ‘yong ating vaccine ay under EUA, hindi po ito puwedeng ibenta o ipagbili,” Año said. (PND)