President Rodrigo Duterte revealed that he would rather deal with another government than a Chinese businessman when procuring equipment, supplies, and vaccine to contain the pandemic.
In a briefing, Duterte said government-to-government transactions were most likely to be “good” while private negotiations would be marred by overpricing.
“Tell your men (in the Inter-Agency Task Force) if they are into these negotiations, that place first a government-to-government transaction. I hate ‘yang ano — ayaw ko ‘yung private persons, magbili tayo sa private Chinese businessmen. Diyan magkakaloko-lokohan eh,” said Duterte in a breifing with Secretary Carlito Galvez, chief implementer of the government’s anti-Covid response.
“Kagaya ngayon, umatras ‘yan kasi hindi yata nakapag-agree doon sa mga terms nila parang partnership to deal with the Philippine government,” he added.
Duterte said he was not wrong in his belief hat the Chinese would be the fist in the world to develop a vaccine. “I believe sa Chinese expertise and knowledge. At hindi ako nagkamali, mayroon na sila. So to the Chinese government and to the people who are really parlaying the vaccine, you need not look for partners,” said Duterte.
“Let me tell everybody that hindi kami maghingi. We will pay. So maganda sana government-to-government ang transaction. Walang corruption,” he added.
Duterte said he purposely avoided overseeing the multi-billion transactions in the Bayanihan effort to buy food, protective gear, and medical supplies and expand testing and hospital capacity.
“Iniwasan ko ‘yan. Kaya ayaw kong makipag-usap ng negosyante. Wala kayong makuha sa akin. Wala akong papel na pinirmahan na transaction sa gobyerno. Lahat ng kontrata begins with Galvez and ends with Galvez, ‘yung mga ano sa opisina niya. And ‘yung mga health, mga transaction, it begins and ends with (Health) Secretary (Francisco) Duque,” said Duterte.