Duterte: What has opposition done for PH during pandemic?
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has asked Filipinos to think about what the opposition has done for the country during the COVID-19 pandemic, as he claimed that what all of his critics had done was complain and blame his administration.
For him, the opposition should just find ways to augment the COVID-19 response and help alleviate the people’s suffering than admonish his management of the health crisis.
“Alam mo Sal, dumaan na tayo how many administrations in the past? Tayo ang dinaanan ng isa sa pinaka-matindi na problema, at ito ay ikakamatay ng tao. At itong oposisyon, dapat tignan ng taong bayan ngayon, Pilipinas, tignan ninyo kung ano ang ginagawa,” Duterte said.
“Sa halip na magsalita ng kung ano, kung paano padagdagan ‘yong pondo para sa ayuda, kung paano pa dagdagan ‘yong mga tulong ng mga kama baka sakali talagang it might go out of control and spread like a wildfire, they don’t do that,” he added.
Duterte was reacting to remarks of his chief legal counsel, Salvador Panelo, who claimed that the opposition members have only aired grievances and failed to note how the government has tried to make the situation gradually return to normalcy.
According to the President, the opposition chose to create issues on matters which they supposedly did not solve during their term – such as the maritime dispute in the West Philippine Sea.
“Maghanap ng issue ng dagat, ng ano. Kaya kayong people of the Republic of the Philippines, pag-aralan ninyong mabuti, ito ‘yong mga tao na walang ginagawa kung hindi magreklamo,” he claimed.
“Noong nandoon na sila, kakatapos lang ng ano nila, kita mo naman kung ano ang ginawa nila sa Pilipinas. You were all witnesses, lahat tayong buhay pa, simula no’ng previous administration, nakita naman ninyo, nakita ninyo kung ano ang ginawa nila sa Pilipinas at gusto kong magtanong anong magagawa mo,” he added.
The government has been often criticized for inadequate and slow COVID-19 response ever since the pandemic flared up in China in late 2019. Political opposition, as well as ordinary citizens, have called out the government for its slow action on the closure of the nation’s borders back then.
Vice President Leni Robredo, a stalwart of the opposition, has aired numerous observations and suggestions regarding the administration’s COVID-19 response – from the government’s data gathering mechanism, inadequate measures against virus containment, resumption of classes, and low testing capabilities.
But Robredo has also been active in providing solutions to the pandemic. At the start of community lockdowns, the Office of the Vice President provided free shuttle services and dormitories for health workers and frontliners, donated testing kits and personal protective equipment (PPE) sourced from local tailors, distributed food packs, offered livelihood training and financial aid to people whose jobs were affected by the crisis, and put up as well as , among others. Robredo sought the help of the private sector to realize these programs.
In December last year, the OVP disclosed the allocation of P505.3 million for its COVID-19 response: P303.3 million from its own funds and P199 million from donations.
“‘Wag ninyong kalimutan, ‘wag ninyong kalimutan kasi ‘pag dating ng araw, kayo rin ang maghuhusga, kayo; nakita ninyo, ano bang problema nitong… raising so many issues, nonsense and trivial just because they want to be heard,” Duterte went on during his pre-recorded Talk to the People on Thursday night.
(Do not forget because the day will come, you will be the one to judge; what you’ve seen, what’s the problem… raising so many issues, nonsense and trivial just because they want to be heard.)
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