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Duterte thanks IATF for efforts to keep COVID-19 pandemic in check

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday expressed gratitude to the government’s COVID-19 task force despite accusations that it has failed to do its job.

In his fifth State of the Nation Address, Duterte thanked the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases and the National Task Force Against COVID-19 “for all the countless hours it spent to keep the pandemic in check and for all the efforts it made to ensure the safety of our people.”

Duterte also recognized the efforts of the local government units that stepped up and initiated their own response measures to contain the spread of the virus and mitigate its impact on communities.

“I know exactly the difficulties you are undergoing. I pray that the officials of each LGU in our country – from the barangay to the autonomous regions – would set aside partisan politics and selfish interests to do what is right and good for all,” he added.

Last week, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said the IATF failed to properly handle the public health crisis as infections in the country continue to climb.

Duterte’s spokesperson Harry Roque disputed Drilon’s observation, saying the Philippines has a low mortality rate, the critical care capacity remains “good” and most of the cases are mild and asymptomatic.

Roque then reiterated the President’s appeal to set aside politics amid the crisis. — Virgil Lopez/RSJ, GMA News