The Philippines’ president has promised to “kick the a**” of Western pharma giants if they try to negotiate supplying Covid-19 vaccines to Manila, adding that the country will procure such formulas only from Russia and China.
Manila will prioritize purchasing coronavirus vaccines from Moscow and Beijing should they be “as good as any other in the market,” President Rodrigo Duterte said on Tuesday. The Philippines strongman expressed his distrust towards Western companies rushing to supply the products, accusing them of being “all about profit.”
“They want you to finance their research and the perfection of the vaccine. They want a cash advance before they deliver the vaccine,” Duterte said.
If we say that there is still no vaccine yet, there is nothing finalized and you want us to make a reservation by depositing money; you must be crazy.
Therefore, Duterte said, Western pharmaceutical giants should not even bother negotiating with Manila on this matter, and warned them “I’ll kick your a**.” Some Chinese companies are also asking for a “reservation fee,” the president added, without naming any firms in particular.
Earlier, the Philippines struck an agreement with Russia on running medical trials of the world’s first registered Covid-19 vaccine, named Sputnik V. Moreover, Duterte has volunteered to be the first to try it in his country.
The Philippines remains one of the worst coronavirus-hit nations in Asia, with more than 260,000 cases and over 4,600 deaths. Worldwide, over 29.3 million people have contracted the disease while nearly 930,000 have succumbed to it, the latest figures from the Johns Hopkins University indicate.