Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said there was nothing illegal with getting inoculated with unregulated vaccines.
He made the comment in his show “Counterpoint” on Saturday amid arguments on former special envoy to China and columnist Ramon Tulfo’s disclosure that he was inoculated with China-made BBIBP-CorV vaccine along with other government officials whom he refused to identify.
Tulfo said he was inoculated after he applied to be one of the vaccine’s distributors in the country.
“I think what is illegal is the importation, sale and distribution of the vaccine, but I’m not sure if getting yourself inoculated with an unsanctioned vaccine is illegal,” Panelo said in Filipino.
The Department of Health and the Food and Drug Administration are investigating Tulfo on the matter.
“If he wants to live longer then he will do what he has to do to prolong his life. Now, if he wants to end it, he will also do what he has to do — he will commit suicide,” Panelo said.
He described the issue as a “gray area” that needs further scrutiny.
“From what I know, suicide is not a crime so let us look into that,” he added.
Panelo, in January, also defended the early inoculation of members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) with an unregistered Sinopharm vaccine, saying it was consistent with the PSG’s duty to protect President Rodrigo Duterte.