President Rodrigo Roa Duterte updates the nation on the government’s efforts in addressing the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the Matina Enclaves in Davao City on June 4, 2020. JOEY DALUMPINES/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night accepted Russia’s offer of Covid-19 vaccines, which he said could be distributed by September or October.

“Tingin ko kay President [Vladimir] Putin, tulong niya ito na libre. Tinatanggap natin. Kung ilan ang supply, maguusap pa kami,” Duterte said during a public address aired Monday night.

Russia’s ambassador to the Philippines Igor Khovaev on Aug. 7 declared that Russia was “ready to supply vaccines to the Philippines” and was willing to invest in local production of the vaccines.

“It means that we are ready to combine our efforts [and] we are ready to make necessary investments together with our Philippine partners and share our technologies,” he said.

Duterte even said he was willing to be the first to be injected with the Russian vaccine to assure the public of its safety.

“Pagdating ng bakuna, in public, para walang satsat diyan, magpa-injection ako. Ako ‘yung unang pag-experimentuhan,” he said.

Kaya ako, para ipakita ko sa kanila na nagtiwala ako at hindi sila nagkamali mag-offer… ako ang unang magpabakuna. Kung puwede sa akin, puwede sa lahat,” he added. John Ezekiel J. Hirro