President Rodrigo Duterte

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night lashed out on critics saying the national government was not doing enough in its coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) response, urging the public not to believe in their statements.

“Now, you might be hearing of critics and ‘yung walang magawa (those who have nothing to do saying), that we are not doing enough. Ano mang enough na gusto ninyo? May ospital, may kama, at may punerarya. Nandiyan lahat. Ano man…? Wala man tayong… Mag — nag — saan… Ano pa man ang gusto ninyo (What is enough for you? There are hospitals, beds, funerals. It’s all there. What else? What else do you want?” Duterte said in a taped public address.

He fired back at Vice President Leni Robredo who earlier said there is a lack in the system and comprehensive plan in the government’s Covid-19 response.

“Huwag kayong maniwala diyan — sus mga itong dilawan lalo na (Don’t believe her—these yellows especially) — I hate to mention her name, but ito si (this) Leni, kung ano-anong pinagsasabi (she’s saying nonsense),” he said.

Duterte, meanwhile, urged the public to continue taking safety precautions such as wearing a face mask while waiting for a vaccine.

“The only thing that we can do really is to wear a mask, wear a face mask, and that’s it and wait for the vaccine. It’s Covid-19 equals vaccine. Huwag na ninyong palakihin ang problema (Don’t make the problem worse),” he said.

Duterte assured that the government was doing its job of controlling the spread of the virus.

He, however, admitted that the country is “in still waters with the engine conked out.”

“That is what we have unless the vaccine is there and for as long as human beings continue to relate to each other, wala tayong magawa at hindi natin makulong ang Pilipino eh (there’s nothing we can do and we can’t keep Filipinos cooped up),” he said.

In a Facebook post, Robredo responded to Duterte’s tirade saying that having facilities to treat Covid-19 patients was not enough saying the pandemic should also be suppressed by making medical and non-medical interventions.

Covid-19 will ‘come to pass’

Duterte appealed to healthcare workers not exempted from the deployment ban to stay in the country a bit longer and serve fellow Filipinos, assuring them that the Covid-19 pandemic would “come to pass.”

He earlier allowed healthcare workers with perfected contracts as of Aug. 31 to work overseas.

The Philippines, he said, also needed healthcare workers to stay and care for their citizens.

“I do not have anything against you but sana ‘yung iba naman (I hope some) will have the — the spirit and the fervor to serve the Filipino people because we also need help and we have a crisis also to deal with,” he said.

He said he was not trivializing the decision of healthcare workers who wished to work overseas, but expressed hope that there would be healthcare workers to stay at least until the health crisis is over.

“Those who want to go out, puwede na ho (you’re now allowed to leave). Pero naiwan naman, sana tagal-tagalan na lang muna ninyo (But for those left behind, I hope you stay a bit longer) until after this Covid-19 will pass. It will come to pass. Sigurado ako (I’m sure),” he said. (PNA)

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