Dec. 27 (EIRNS)—Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to end the military pact with the U.S. if they don’t deliver 20 million vials of COVID vaccines. “If they fail to deliver a minimum of 20 million vaccines, they better get out—no vaccine, no stay here,” the President said on Dec. 26 during a televised meeting with members of his cabinet and the national COVID-19 task force.
Earlier this month, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said Manila had secured 10 million doses of Pfizer vaccine with the help of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The vaccine would have been ready for shipment in January 2021 but the deal fell through after Health Secretary Francisco Duque supposedly “dropped the ball.”
However, Duque denied the allegation and said there had never been a firm commitment from the U.S. pharmaceutical giant.
On Dec. 26, Duterte lent support to Duque and lashed out at the U.S. “Do not believe in that shit about America that they can deliver immediately,” he said. “I have dealt with them many times.”
Duterte had unilaterally abrogated the Visiting Forces treaty earlier this year, much to the horror of the war party in the U.S. But in November, he agreed to extend it by six months due to the pandemic.
So far, the Philippines has confirmed over 460,000 COVID-19 cases—one of the highest figures in Southeast Asia—with over 9,000 deaths.