Press Conference of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte following the arrival ceremony for COVID-19 vaccines

Event Arrival ceremony for COVID-19 vaccines
Location Villamor Air Base in Pasay City

JOSEPH MORONG (GMA-7): Hi, sir. How are you doing? Kamusta po kayo? How are you doing, sir? Nice to see you again although virtually. Sir, first question just so galing po sa inyo, for the record, sir nabakunahan na po ba kayo?

PRESIDENT RODRIGO ROA DUTERTE: Can you lower the volume para — ?

MR. MORONG: Ah malakas ba, sir?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Nag-reverberate eh. Again, can you — ?

MR. MORONG: Okay, sir, ulitin ko lang, sir. Sir, para po sa inyo na manggaling, sir, nabakunahan na po ba kayo? At kung hindi pa po, sir, would you confirm na ang gusto po ninyong bakuna ay Sinopharm at kung Sinopharm po ‘yong gusto nila, bakit po hindi Sinovac?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Alam mo, have you talked to the medical people? Kami ‘yong mga 70 we have to be careful. Ako naman may doktor ako sarili. She thinks that another brand, I will not mention it, iyon na lang ang hinihintay ko — sabi niya hinihintay niya — hinihintay ko, sabi niya.

But I cannot just out of the box vaccine simply because I have to take care of my age. I will be 77 next year, next month. Eh ‘yong 70 nga pinagsasabihan na… Baka hindi ako aabot. Hindi 67 lang ako. Sinasabi ko lang ‘yan para — kasi mga bata pa sila eh.

MR. MORONG: Sir, kasi, sir, ang nasabi po sa akin —

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: But walang — alam mo, in the matter of getting the vaccine, it is to my advantage. It is to my self-interest that I should get one. No doubt about it.

As to what brand, iyan ang problema because it is left to the sound discretion of my doctor. May caveat pa ‘yan. Seventy people above are, you know, sinasabi nila huwag na. In some areas, some countries, hindi na binabakunahan ‘yang 70. It’s either because they are nearing death or about to die or it could be useless to give them the vaccine because anyway they won’t live long. I really do not know the rationale [or rationale] of the whole thing.

MR. MORONG: Sir, just one last question. Sir, I’d like you to address po ‘yong mga healthcare workers natin because po kung ‘yong survey po ng PGH ang pagbabasehan natin, eight percent lang po ng mga empleyado sa PGH ang gusto pong magpabakuna noong Sinovac. Tapos po ‘yong kung mga Pilipino ang titingnan, sir, surveys says 13 percent lang po ‘yong may gusto ng Chinese vaccines. So address, sir, ‘yong parang distrust ng mga Pilipino sa Chinese vaccines and would you be willing to be vaccinated in public to shore up ‘yong public confidence sa pagbabakuna? And just one last point, sir, si Vice President Leni is saying that you should be the first to be vaccinated to shore up the public confidence in the vaccine. So ‘yong survey, sir, na mababa ‘yong may gusto ng Chinese and then ‘yon pong kay Vice President. Thank you, sir.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Siya man ‘yong apurado, siya ang mauna. Ako, I cannot just decide. She’s young, I am not.

I have to defer to my doctor. But I said, on the matter of getting the vaccine, it is my self-preservation will be at issue. Kailangan kong magpabakuna.

Ano bang problema nila sa bakuna na talagang magpabakuna man ako? If I do not want to die and get COVID, I should get one. I go around a lot. I meet so many people on any given trip outside. Eh bakit dadramahin pa ‘yang sinong mauna, sinong… Ako magpabakuna. Ang problema ang doktor ko may hinihintay.

Now, on the issue of itong mga health workers, mayroong dadating, they have a choice, it’s either Zeneca or Astra —

MR. MORONG: AstraZeneca, sir? AstraZeneca, sir.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: AstraZeneca ‘yan. AstraZeneca or the Sinovac. Kung ayaw nila ng Sinovac, maghintay sila. In a few days, there has been quite a — basta I was assured that it would be coming within the next few days.

Eh ‘di ‘yon ang gusto nila, they have a choice. That’s about another — I don’t know how many.

MR. MORONG: Five hundred thousand, sir?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Ewan ko basta siguro diyan. I cannot really tell you the exact number basta magda… Ito, galing ito sa World Health Organization, itong Sinovac. Ito ‘yong in-apportion ng WHO among the countries that cannot afford to buy it immediately kasi agawan.

Now, kung magsabi ka ngayon bakit ngayon lang? Eh mabuti’t na nga’t nag-donate ang — nagmagandang-loob ang China. These — what you see now are donated vaccines.

Tayo may pera kasi naghiram tayo sa World Bank pati sa DBP. Sabi ng dalawang ahensya, “Okay, pahiramin kayo. Walang problema.” Problem is, agawan ngayon ng bakuna. Until there is a residual supply, we will just have to wait ‘yong magbili tayo.

Eh sige reklamo, sinabi ko na ang rason: walang supply. Ginusto ko man magnakaw, ginusto ko man magbili, eh wala eh. Kaya itong unang dumating. AstraZeneca would be coming.

Now, for those who do not want to be vaccinated, okay lang sa akin. Wala akong problema. Ayaw ninyong magpabakuna? Okay, that’s your choice.

MR. MORONG: Thank you for your time. Thank you very much for your time, sir. Yeah, go ahead.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Kagaya ng ganito… Gaya nito eh kailangan ka mag-mask, I cannot — I simply cannot. Para akong inutil na magsalita na ano. I have to remove it. Am I asking for an exemption? No.

But if you want me to do my duty to talk to the public, to answer the questions from the press, talagang tinatanggal ko kasi I — I just feel bothered by all of these things hanging in front of me.

MR.MORONG: Okay,sir.Thank you for your time, sir. Nice seeing you again, sir.

PIA GUTIERREZ (ABS-CBN): Hi, sir. Magandang gabi po. Sir, with the start of the vaccine rollout, sir, could you please tell us what kind of scenario that the Philippines will expect in the next few days or in the next few weeks? More importantly, sir, when do we expect the Philippines to achieve herd immunity and when do we expect to get our lives back to normal?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON HARRY ROQUE: Kailan daw po ang ine-expect natin na magkaroon tayo ng herd immunity at kailan daw ine-expect po natin na babalik po tayo sa normal?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Herd — herd immunity is a science. Ang herd immunity is kung ang Maynila, around Maynila nabakunahan na, most of the people and in the nearby peripheral provinces, wala na lahat, nakabakuna. So nobody can get contaminated by — by what? By whom?

That is the time that we can have the herd immunity. It’s a science. Only the medical people can give you the exact calculation on that.

As a layman, herd immunity is achieved only kung ‘yong nakapalibot sa iyo nabakunahan na, so there is no more chance for you to acquire the disease because wala nang mag-contaminate sa iyo.

MS. GUTIERREZ:  So, sir, with the arrival of the vaccines, sir, when do we expect to achieve this herd immunity, sir?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Look, ganito ha. Mahirap kasi ‘yan, ma’am, because ang herd immunity — para sa akin personally mas maganda kung contiguous ang territory because you only have to do a circle, paliit nang paliit, paliit nang paliit hanggang — towards the center of gravity. Eh ito island por island eh. And we cannot stop travel. And we cannot expect all people to agree to be vaccinated. That is the problem.

Pero kaya nga we have to take into account the freedom of an individual of what happens to his body. Nobody but nobody can tinker with his — the human life kung hindi siya. Kung ayaw niya, that makes it doubly hard for us. But that is also one which we have to take — we have to take into account in dealing with the problem of COVID-19.

MS. GUTIERREZ: Sir, as far as our targets are concerned, do you see this happening within the year or next year or in the next two or three years?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Herd immunity akin lang ‘yan, sa basa-basa ko lang, wala — wala akong — I have no reference except that I cannot recall now how many articles I have read about herd immunity. Ang Pilipinas towards the end of — mga early next year pa, early next year.

MS. GUTIERREZ: Early next year.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: If you ask a doctor, he would give you the same answer maybe. Maybe not, I’m wrong pero sabi ko ‘yon lang ang gina — ‘yon lang nabasa ko, what I have read from international magazines. Wala talaga akong ano. I must confess my incomplete and inadequate knowledge dito sa bagay na ‘to.

MS. GUTIERREZ: On another and a similar matter, sir, now that we have started the rollout of vaccines, would you reconsider the IATF recommendation to place the Philippines under MGCQ?

SEC. ROQUE: Will you reconsider daw po ‘yong placing Metro Manila under MGCQ now that we have rolled out the vaccination program?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I am considering it actually. ‘Pag start… Buksan ko na because there are two things that are really bugging us: it’s the economy and COVID-19. Nakatutok ‘yan. Our economy is really down, as in down. So the earlier na mabilisan itong vaccine, the better.

Ako, ‘pag nag-umpisa na ‘yang rollout and the other vaccines would come in and distributed to the provinces, I may… Siguro pagdating ng mga… We will have a million by this month. Magkaroon lang tayo ng stock ng 2 million, bitawan ko na. I will open the economy. Talagang hirap tayo.

You know, people have to eat, people have to work, people have to pay for their upkeep. And the only way to do it is to open the economy and for businesses to regrow. Without that, patay talaga. So mahihirapan tayo.

MS. GUTIERREZ: Sir, when you say “reopen the economy,” that means placing Metro Manila under MGCQ in March?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: As a matter of fact, kung makita ko na marami ng vaccine, open ko na lahat, wala na. Tanggalin ko na ‘yan.

Kung mayroon ng — if the vaccine is available to anybody for one reason or another, sa mga probinsiya na-distribute na ‘yan kasi hindi naman mag-abot ng 110 million. Eh sa estimate nila it’s about 40 million. Kung maka-hit tayo ng 40 million o nandiyan na ‘yong vaccine, maski mag — mayroon tayong mga 20, 30, buksan ko na. Buksan ko na dahil sa economy.

MS. GUTIERREZ: Sir, what about face-to-face classes po?


MS. GUTIERREZ: Face-to-face classes.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Huwag muna ngayon. Not now. It would be — I cannot make that decision. It will place the children in jeopardy.

Alam mo, iba na ‘yang decision, iba na ‘yang maraming mamatay. I am not ready to lose the lives of our young people, our children. No.

GUTIERREZ: Thank you, sir.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Titingnan ko as they come. ‘Pag tingnan ko nakabakuna araw-araw, what’s the use? Sige.

Iyong mga ayaw — iyong gusto pa ng ibang klaseng — there’s the AstraZeneca. If you do not have faith in the Chinese…

Ako mismo, I guarantee to you, basa — iyang 50 percent… Nobody but nobody can really tell you how effective it is or the efficacy is at that number. It would depend on your body. If you are a healthy person, with no underlying causes of diseases, talagang kailangan mo nang mas marami. Mahina ang katawan mo.

Pero ‘pag ibigay mo ‘yan kagaya sa inyo, kayong mga babae, kayong nakatindig diyan, ah wala, that’s 100 — almost 90. Walang — walang makasabi niyang ano. There is no scientific data of comparison there. Wala pa.

The fact that Malaysia, Indonesia, Brazil, Africa, UAE, I think, okay ang — the outcome has been quite successful. Sa China, wala na. Ang ginamit nila Sinovac, Sinopharm. Okay na sila.

As a matter of fact, President Xi Jinping announced — nabasa ko lang — that China has overcome poverty. Wala ng pobre sa China ngayon.

TRICIAH TERADA (CNN PHILIPPINES): Hi, good evening, Mr. President. Good to see you po. Sir, first question. How do you intend to address Filipinos who are still apprehensive to get vaccinated more so with Chinese brands, for example, Sinovac?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Gina-gua — I guarantee, I am giving the guarantee that it is effective. That efficacy is good.

Ngayon, ‘yong ayaw magpabakuna, wala akong magawa para sa inyo. Or you might want at least you know in your lifetime, may kilala kang doktor, magtanong ka na lang sa doktor kung anong mabuti sa iyo.

Kagaya namin, 70 above are discouraged from getting it. Pero ako, since I get to go around and meet people to travel, baka kailangan ko.

You ask the — iyong guideline ng WHO. Iyong 70 above, wala na. Patayin na ‘yan. Eh ako, mag-32 na next month.

MS. TERADA Sir, experts are saying na mas mahihikayat po ‘yong publiko na magpabakuna when they see leaders or influencers getting vaccinated. Sino po ‘yong mga inatasan ninyo, sir, na maunang magpabakuna especially with the arrival of Sinovac? May naatasan po ba kayong mga Cabinet members or officials from your government?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: My — my doctor has in mind. It’s a Chinese brand still pero hindi ito. Siya ‘yong nakaalam ng constitution ng katawan ko eh.

MS. TERADA: Yes, oo nga po. Pero, sir, may officials po ba kayo or Cabinet members na aatasan na manguna po sa pagpapabakuna to represent the government?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Magsabay-sabay kami pagdating. Iyong… Hinihintay lang natin ‘yong ano.

Ako, naghingi ako personal. Wala silang stock na ano eh. Naghingi ako para sa pamilya ko pati sa akin pati ‘yong…

I don’t know if we would have enough vaccines for everybody. But I think I can accommodate the — itong Cabinet members.

MS. TERADA: Sir, I understand and you mentioned several times that you are grateful to the donations of China, ito pong Sinovac, ‘yong una po nilang pinadalang bakuna.


MS. TERADA: But, sir, how do you wish to address concerns about — or fear, sir, about the objective of vaccine diplomacy led by China and concerns, sir, on — or possible position on different issues with China?


SEC. ROQUE: Ano daw po ‘yong…? [Tama ba ang tanong mo ‘no?] Ano ‘yong magiging epekto sa iba pang mga issues na mayroon po tayo sa China dito sa pagdating po ng Sinovac vaccine?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Well, that’s a matter of geopolitics. I have made a declaration that we will adopt an independent foreign policy.

Which means to say that, one, I assured China that I will not allow nuclear armaments of America to be stored in the Philippines. Iyan ang sinabi ko. That’s the guarantee that I ano — na hindi ako papayag.

Not because it will antagonize China but it is in the Philippine constitution, which prohibits the presence of nuclear armaments in the country.

MS. TERADA: So, sir, just to put it on the record and to be very clear about it, despite or amid these donations, we will not compromise anything on issues between China?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: China never asked for anything. China has been giving us everything but never asked anything from us actually.

Ang pinakamabigat ang Amerikano, ang hinihingi nila ang base. Alam mo ba kung anong mangyari? Do you know the direct consequence?

Kung magka-giyera and it will surely start maybe in the theater of war would be the Spratly and China Sea. Katabi lang tayo. Pangasinan, it’s just — nakaharap. Maraming probinsiya nandiyan.  Alam mo kung may armaments sila dito, ang unang tatamaan ‘yon. Saan? Sa Pilipinas.

We are taking a very big gamble there. Kasi kung walang armaments sa Pilipinas, ‘yon lang kailangan natin sa counter-insurgency, okay na. We do not need weapons that could fight other countries because we do not have it — the arms — and we do not want it.

Ang unang matamaan, ang Pilipinas kasi nandito ‘yong base, nandito ‘yong mga armas nila. The arms are stored everywhere in the Philippines, baka hindi niyo alam. May mga depots all around the Philippines where the arms are…

Sinabi ko sa kanila, I cannot stop you because we have yet to renegotiate the Visiting Forces Agreement. But I am warning you that if I get hold of a hard information that the nuclear armaments are here brought by you, I will immediately ask you to go out and I will terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement ora mismo.

MS. TERADA: Sir, maybe one last question not related to vaccine since, sir, matagal-tagal din po namin kayong hindi nakausap. Sir, there are growing calls for your daughter, Davao City Mayor Inday Sara, to run for president. Nabanggit niyo po na ayaw niyo po siyang patakbuhin. But is this final, sir, or is this still up for reconsideration considering na marami pong gustong tumakbo ‘yong anak po ninyo?

SEC. ROQUE: Pinal na ba ho ‘yong advice niyo raw po na ayaw niyong patak — patakbuhin si Inday Sara or puwede pa itong ma-reconsider sa dami po ng calls para tumakbo po si Inday Sara?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Siya — si Sara ayaw because may anak kasi iyang tatlo and she won’t — maliliit pa eh. Maliliit pa iyan. Gusto niya na mag-focus muna siya sa family ano ng — mga affairs.

But ang sabi niya sa akin, marami pa naman panahon and she used my favorite statement. Ang sabi niya: “Kung gusto ng Diyos maging presidente rin ako kagaya sa iyo, magiging presidente ako. Hindi kailangan ngayon.”

If she wants me… But if she does not want… If God does not want to be — me to be president, I will not have that chance any — no more. Ganoon rin.

Alam mo, it’s… The presidency is a gift from God. Wala kang ma-ano diyan. Ayaw niya ngayon at sabi niya, kung ma-presidente siya, just assuming, assuming, after six years, bata pa siya, anong gawin niya? As an ex-president, hindi siya makatrabaho, hindi siya maka-appear ng korte. Eh presidente ka na eh.

At sabi ko, mabuti sana kung maganda ‘yong sweldo, makapag-ipon ka. Pero kung wala ka namang ambisyon, diyan ka lang trabaho, wala kang… Nothing to —

MS. TERADA: Thank you, sir.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: — absolutely.

MS. TERADA: Salamat po, sir.

MELA LESMORAS (PTV-4): Hi, good evening po, sir. Ngayong may bakuna na, sir, sa Pilipinas at nalalapit na rin ang anniversary ng community quarantine sa bansa, paano niyo po ia-assess o bibigyan ng grade ang ating government sa pagtugon sa COVID-19 pandemic?

SEC. ROQUE: Paano —

MS. LESMORAS: —ia-assess ‘yong pagtugon ng gobyerno sa COVID-19 pandemic ng IATF at ating national government po?

SEC. ROQUE: Paano daw po ang pag-assess sa response natin sa pandemic ngayong dumating na po ang mga bakuna?


SEC. ROQUE: Ano — paano po natin a-assess ‘yong ating response sa COVID-19 ngayong nandito na po ang bakuna?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Oh well, it would be… We — we must apply it as… Eh kung maubos ‘yang isang araw na iyan, iturok ko ‘yan isang araw. As fast as we can.

But look, the Philippines is not Manila alone, remember that. So, may mga siyudad: Laoag, Cebu, Davao, Cagayan, Dumaguete, Bacolod, bigyan mo rin ‘yan eh. Hindi basta-basta na ibigay mo lang lahat dito sa Maynila ‘yan.

It would not be fair. Iyong lalo na kung may mara — may mga gusto, ibigay mo. Pero ratio and proportion. Mas maraming tao dito sa Metro Manila eh kaysa mga probinsiya.

Pero, in the meantime, na wala pa tayong sufficient supply for everybody, ano ‘yong dumating ngayon at next week, paghati-hatian natin ‘yan na ano — ratio and proportion.

Para naman sabihin ng the rest of the Philippines, “Aba, nakakalimutan tayo. Tell Duterte that there are Filipinos over her, so many hundreds of miles away.”

MS. LESMORAS: Sir, kung may nakikita po kayo, Mr. President, na dapat pang i-improve, saan po ‘yon?At kungbibigyan niyo po ng grade ‘yong IATF, mga LGU, ano pong ibibigay niyo pong grade, sir, sa COVID-19 response ng ating mga opisyal po?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: It’s either my ear is failing me which actually is. Mahina ang dito ko kasi na — I had — I have a fracture at the back it’s — may nagpuputol dito. Wala na ako dito so I have to — ito ‘yong ear…

MS. LESMORAS: Mr. President, kung bibigyan po natin ng grade or grado ‘yong ating IATF, ‘yong mga LGU sa COVID-19 response ng government, paano po natin sila ia-assess at ano po ‘yong mga nakikita pa nating puwedeng improvement ng government against COVID-19?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Well, that is — you know, ‘yong Department of Health is not a department alone. It is a structure all over the Philippines.

So it behooves upon the municipal health officer, the city health officer, the provincial health officer, lahat sila, must keep a record, that is mandatory, so that visitations can be made, especially those who are of age and vulnerable sa — ‘yong mahina na ang katawan.

I really do not know why they wanted to or why they — they just exclude the — mga 70 above ‘wag na. Pero ito ‘yong mga vulnerable sa — may underlying cause. There is anemia, maybe leukemia, ito ‘yong — mukhang ayaw na yatang injection-an. Eh kung ganoon gus — ayaw mong ma-injection-an, gusto mo mamatay na lang?

MS. LESMORAS: Sir, my last question po. Ngayong may bakuna na, kailan po natin nakikitang babalik sa normal ang Pilipinas?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: In about maybe early — mga year 20 — year 23, not the 22. Ito ngayon hanggang katapusan ng buwan, paspasan tayo. Early in the first — maybe first or second quarter of year 23, 2023, baka —

MS. LESMORAS: Thank you po, Mr. President.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: — sa tulong ng Diyos.

HUANG ZHENGZHENG (CCTV): Magandang gabi, President. Nice to see you again. My first question is today the arrival of first batch of Chinese vaccine shows the Chinese government fulfilled its commitment. So what’s your comment on this? Do you think that this vaccine can help the Philippines to recovery of the economy and to bring our Filipino peoples’ lives back to normal?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Yes. The vaccine that you — China donated would greatly help in the recovery of the economy. And it starts now, not really now, but maybe tomorrow, once we begin the rollout. And slowly those persons who got the vaccines can go to work again and businesses will open.

The reason why the businesses are closed is because there are no workers. Everybody is afraid to go out because of the absence of the vaccine.

But with the help of China, and please convey my gratitude, xiè xie, to the Chinese government and people. It will greatly help and thereby promote a healthy trade and commerce with China.

MS. HUANG: Okay. President, I would also like to know, during your remarks, you mentioned that the vaccine should be made as a global public goods. That’s also the commitment of Chinese President Xi Jinping and China has already donated the vaccine to more than 50 countries worldwide. What’s your comment on this issue?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I have to translate it.

SEC. ROQUE: Oo. Please repeat the question, I couldn’t understand also the question. Slowly.

MS. HUANG: Okay. During President’s remarks this afternoon, he meant that the vaccine need to be made as global public goods. That’s also the commitment of Chinese President Xi Jinping. Chinese government right now already donated the vaccine to more than 50 countries. So I would like to know the comments from the President.

SEC. ROQUE: Comments daw po ninyo doon sa sinabi ni President Xi na gusto niyang ibigay sa maraming mga lokal na mga — iba pang mga bansa itong bakuna na galing sa Tsina. Komento lang po doon sa sinasabi nilang they want to distribute the vaccine to as many other countries.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: China is a — has a good spirit. The people are kind and the government is very — not only it has a great respect and love for mankind. Now, this will help along… [Ano ‘yong tanong niya?]

SEC. ROQUE: Ano po ho ‘yong comment niyo lang doon sa sinabi daw po ni President Xi na they want to share the vaccine to as many countries?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Well, let me announce it again. China has donated vaccines everywhere for those countries who need help and do not have the money ready. For the poor countries, China donated.

But the protocol was you have to get the vaccine in China using your own transportation and bring it back — the medicine to China.

The Philippines, as of now, is the only country where China delivered using a military plane — the vaccines to the Philippines. That is how good China is to us. Xiè xie.

MS. HUANG: Thank you, Mr. President. And also the last question, I would like to know, during your remarks, you said you would like to visit China soon and to say — take the message to President Xi Jinping personally. So I would like to know which city you would like to visit this time and what kind of message you will bring to President Xi?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Maybe I’ll go to Xiamen. There’s a school built to honor my mother. You know, my mother was one of the first educators of the Chinese school in Davao.

I said when you are, you know, you have Chinese blood, you are — or the wife, you get a… In 1950, we migrated to Davao and my mother was able to get a job immediately. She was taken in by the Davao-Chinese school. She was one of the earliest educators. So in China, they have built a — or a building they named after my mother. So I’d like to go to Xiamen before going to Beijing.

But what is important is that I get to — I told the Ambassador, I would like to thank and to travel to China even one day just to tell President Xi Jinping thank you and I fly home.

I want it to do personal because China has been good and the — it… The way that helping us right now, I suppose that a debt of gratitude should be paid by a personal visit.

MS. HUANG:Thank you so much, President.

SEC. ROQUE: Okay. Maraming salamat. Maraming salamat, Mayor. Dito po nagtatapos ang ating press conference. Maraming salamat po sa mga kasama natin sa Malacañang Press Corps —


SEC. ROQUE:  — at salamat po nang sumubaybay. Magandang gabi po sa inyong lahat. Dito po nagtatapos ang makasaysayang araw na ito kung kailan dumating ang unang — kauna-unahang mga bakuna laban sa COVID-19. Dito po nagsisimula ‘yong pagdating ng liwanag sa panahon ng kadiliman.

Magandang gabi po sa inyong lahat at maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat. [applause]


— END —


SOURCE: PCOO-PND (Presidential News Desk)