The Pentagon-run operation was reportedly intended to misinform people about China’s Covid vaccine FILE PHOTO: People waiting to get the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine, San Juan City, Metro Manila, Philippines. © Getty Images / Majority World / Contributor

Philippines lawmakers are planning to launch an investigation into an undercover propaganda campaign conducted by the US military to cast doubt on the Chinese Covid-19 vaccine at the height of the pandemic, Reuters reports, citing documents.

The Philippines was among the nations that suffered the worst from coronavirus infection rates in the region, as the country’s authorities struggled to persuade people to get vaccinated.

The move comes in response to allegations that a Pentagon-run operation to smear the Chinese vaccine Sinovac was conducted between spring 2020 and mid-2021. The campaign focused on the Philippines before spreading to other countries in Asia and the Middle East, Reuters reported earlier this month, citing former US military officials.

The campaign reportedly used fake social media accounts impersonating locals to criticize Sinovac and spread claims that test kits and masks produced in the country were of poor quality.

Documents seen by the news agency reportedly show that Philippines Senator Imee Marcos, who chairs the Foreign Relations Committee, and House Representative France Castro filed resolutions in the Philippines Congress earlier this week to initiate an investigation into the allegations.

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According to the resolution from Marcos obtained by Reuters, the Senate inquiry is aimed at determining “the ramifications of the actions of the US Military, any potential breach of international law” by Washington, as well as “the possible legal recourse” available to the country, considering that misinformation campaigns such as this “[threaten] national security.” The documents claim that “underhanded tactics by a foreign military power” undermined “national sovereignty and the democratic rights of Filipinos to freely access truthful information vital to public health and safety.”

The US military was engaged in an undercover propaganda campaign to smear Chinese vaccines in developing countries during the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters cited a senior US Defense Department official as saying.

A Pentagon spokeswoman told the media that US defense forces deploy “a variety of platforms, including social media, to counter those malign influence attacks aimed at the US, allies, and partners.” The spokeswoman went on to claim that Beijing conducted a “disinformation campaign to falsely blame the United States for the spread of Covid-19.” (RT)