JUSTICE Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Monday stressed that any person who voluntarily gets himself inoculated with unregistered anti-Covid-19 vaccine cannot be held criminally liable under existing laws.

However, Guevarra stressed that it would be better that laws on the approval, distribution and administration of vaccines be complied with for the safety of recipients.

“Under our existing laws, a person who freely and voluntarily gets himself inoculated with an unregistered or unauthorized drug or vaccine does not incur any criminal liability, unless he himself has caused its unlawful procurement or promotes its use by other people,” Guevarra pointed out.

“Although vaccination is a matter of personal survival, it is important that laws on vaccine approval, distribution and administration be strictly observed for the benefit of everyone,” the justice chief added.

For those behind the smuggling and distribution of unregistered Covid-19 vaccines, Guevarra assured that they can be held criminally liable under the law.

Guevarra issued the statement amid reports that there were at least 100,000 Chinese POGO (Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators) workers who have already received shots of unregistered Covid-19 vaccines.

The Department of Health (DOH) said it is now coordinating with the Food and Drug Administration, the National Bureau of Investigation, and the Bureau of Customs to investigate the matter.

Guievarras has issued a department order last December 28, directing the NBI on the reported importation, sale, offering for sale, distribution, administration, and inoculation of Colvid-19 vaccines that are not authorized or registered with the Food Drug Administration.

Guevarra directed the NBI to file charges, if evidence warrants, against those responsible for the illegal act.


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