Metro Manila Council (MMC) Chairman and Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez found himself in hot water after he defended the inoculation of actor Mark Anthony Fernandez with COVID-19 vaccine despite not being in the priority list.
Citing “command responsibility,” Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) said Thursday that it is mulling to file charges against Olivarez.
A fuming DILG Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III is also looking for possible charges against Fernandez.
In an interview over ABS-CBN, Densing slammed Olivarez for supposedly making up stories that Fernandez was in the substitute list for being a person with comorbidity.
Densing said he can’t simply buy Olivarez’s explanation, claiming that Fernandez himself admitted being healthy and taking no maintenance medicines except vitamin supplements.
He said the directive of the World Health Organization (WHO) is very clear that healthcare workers being the frontliners in the battle against COVID-19 should be on top of the priority vaccination list.
For his part, Olivarez maintained his stance that Fernandez is qualified to be included in the COVID-19 priority roster.
He insisted that the city government did not err in having Fernandez immunized since the locality had finished vaccinating its health workers.
Stressing his point, Olivarez claimed that Fernandez is hypertensive and suffering from depression, pointing to an incident in Pampanga last year where the actor was jailed for illegal drug charges.
Legazpi City Mayor Noel Rosal, who was one of the five mayors issued show-cause-order for breaking the COVID-19 vaccine protocols, claimed on March 24 that his name was listed by the local health authorities in the priority list apparently to raise his constituents’ confidence rate on the dose.
On Wednesday, Rosal said he has actually no plans of getting vaccinated against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) but was listed by health authorities as among those to be inoculated to boost vaccine confidence among health workers. (Chito A. Chavez)