SEC. ROQUE: Okay. Maraming salamat po. Maraming salamat, Trish. Maraming salamat, Ambassador. Can we go to Pia Rañada now?
PIA RAÑADA/RAPPLER: Sir, just on [garbled] vaccines. Sir, kasi the vaccines have to be administered, and administering an unapproved vaccine is illegal according to the FDA law. And the PSG said that they supposedly administered the vaccine themselves. So even if, as you say, it’s their duty to protect the President, does that justify breaking the law?
SEC. ROQUE: Sinabi ko na iyan, Pia. Kung sila’y handang mamatay para sa Presidente, handa sila kung ano ang ipapataw na parusa. Pero ang ginawa nila ay prinotektahan nila ang Presidente; let’s leave it at that.
PIA RAÑADA/RAPPLER: Yes, but, sir, you earlier said that the President is lauding them on what they did. So it’s like he’s lauding them for breaking the law, for bypassing certain processes. He is a lawyer, does he not know better? And what does it say about how Malacañang views our laws?
SEC. ROQUE: Hindi po. He’s lauding them—what’s the question? Nakiki-argue ka, walang question ‘no.
Ang sasabihin ko po ay ganito: Nagbibigay-pugay po siya dahil sinugal nila ang mga buhay sa kagustuhan nilang protektahan ang buhay ng Presidente laban sa COVID-19. At isa ako doon sa nagbibigay-pugay din kasama ng karamihan ng sambayanang Pilipino na sumusuporta sa Presidente.
Yes, I don’t think it was a mistake to protect the President. If there’s whatever accountabilities issue, sasagutin po iyan ng PSG. Gaya ng sinabi ko, ‘Eh kung kamatayan nga tatangapin nila, ano naman iyang mga ibang parusa na pupuwedeng ipataw sa kanila.’ Let’s leave it at that. Kung may kaso, let the cases be filed and let them proceed. Sino ang magsasampa ng kaso ‘no? Sino ang magbibigay ng ebidensiya? Legal issue po iyan.
PIA RAÑADA/RAPPLER: So, sir, given that the President sees nothing wrong with what the PSG did, can the Palace now give the public details about who provided the vaccines to the PSG? What process it went through?
SEC. ROQUE: Wala pong kinalaman iyon. Kung gusto po nilang sabihin, sasabihin nila. Pero ang importante po, pinuprotektahan nila ang Presidente.
PIA RAÑADA/RAPPLER: Sir, kasi importante po iyong transparency in this issue—
SEC. ROQUE: Itigil na po natin itong mga napakadaming kuru-kuro tungkol diyan eh hindi naman kayo nagpaturok para protektahan ang Presidente, eh bakit ninyo naman minamasama iyong mga sinugal ang kanilang mga kalusugan.
PIA RAÑADA/RAPPLER: Oo, sir, kasi we’re talking about the law, protecting the law. And I think it’s in the interest of Malacañang to also respect the law and show that the citizens that it is also respectful of the law. So my question is—
SEC. ROQUE: Go ahead!
PIA RAÑADA/RAPPLER: Given that this is an issue of public interest and transparency is something the public wants to see, can the Palace divulge details of this agreement? Who is the businessman or whichever entity who gave the vaccines to the PSG? I think it’s a fair question, everybody wants to know.
SEC. ROQUE: No, it’s not a fair question; it’s immaterial. Ang materyal dito, sinugal nila ang mga buhay nila para protektahan ang Presidente – full stop. That’s their business. Okay?
Alam ninyo, because of lack of time, I have to go ‘no. Nandito nga tayo sa Villamor Airbase because of a one o’clock flight. Pero thank you very much, Pia.