President Rodrigo Duterte said his guards from the PSG got COVID-19 vaccines to protect themselves from the virus, defending them from critics who pointed out that Filipino authorities had not approved the China-made jab.
Duterte said he was "not keen" on allowing the Presidential Security Group to testify before investigation on the vaccination, which was not sanctioned by the Food and Drug Administration. The Senate has set its inquiry on the matter on Jan. 11.
For members of the PSG who protect the President round the clock, it's "a matter of self-preservation," Duterte said.
"They have the right to live and invoke self-preservation, the right to self defense," he said. "The enemy is COVID."
The soldiers got the Sinopharm vaccines from China even as the FDA had not approved any of the several vaccine candidates for commercial use.
"You can say all the rules in this world, there will always be an exception," he said.