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Pres. Rodrigo Duterte claims PH ‘only country’ to receive vaccine delivery from China; social media proves him wrong

Duterte’s narrative may be leaning towards convincing Filipinos that China is our friend, but the internet just keeps proving him wrong.

Keeping internet receipts seems to be here to stay as netizens once again blasted President Rodrigo Duterte as he spouted another false claim on live television.

On Sunday, February 28, Duterte claimed that the 600,000 doses of Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine CoronaVac was “the only donation that was carried by a Chinese gov’t plane.”

This, however, would be proven false, as GMA News reporter Raffy Tima would essentially post receipts of another country receiving vaccine donations via government plane.

His tweet shows a headline from the Bangkok Post saying Cambodia received China’s donation of COVID-19 vaccines on Sunday, February 7 “by special plane”—three weeks ahead of China’s donation to the Philippines.

An article would later be posted by GMA News Online in support, showing Collin Koh disproving Duterte’s claim through a news article from Chinese state-run Xinhua.

This would stoke the flames for netizens critical of Duterte, blasting him for yet another “Chinese hardsell”.

Journalist Inday Espina Varona even called out the president for his diversionary tactics, asking people to be wary of his administration’s relationship with China’s state-run Sinopharm.

Duterte passes on ‘compassionate use’ of Sinopharm

Duterte, who still prefers Sinopharm’s COVID-19 vaccine over others, has also passed on the move to secure a compassionate special permit given to the Presidential Security Group (PSG).

According to the president, he will instead wait for Sinopharm’s emergency use authority (EUA) to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

The FDA earlier confirmed that a Sinopharm representative filed an EUA application online, but they were only able to receive on March 2, as FDA offices were closed on Monday, March 1 due to a Muntinlupa City holiday.

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