Malacañang on Monday hit back at Senator Francis Pangilinan for criticizing the designation of Cabinet members as "big brothers and big sisters" of local government officials in the implementation of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Pangilinan had disagreed with the new assignments that cover Metro Manila and nearby provinces, saying it only added a layer to the “already highly-centralized yet ineffective COVID-19 response” through the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque claimed that Pangilinan made the comment because the opposition lawmaker was seeking reelection in 2022.
“Alam ninyo naman malapit na eleksyon, reelectionist itong si Senator Pangilinan. Hindi ako nagtataka sa mga maaanghang na salita niya,” Roque said in a televised briefing, adding Pangilinan’s Liberal Party had a “dismal performance” in addressing disasters when they were in power.
The Palace official said the IATF members are doing their best to address the pandemic.
“Dahil kapag tayo po ay pumalya, baka sariling pamilya rin namin ang mag-suffer sa COVID. Wala pong such a thing as natutulog sa pansitan dahil lahat po tayo under threat from COVID,” Roque said.
“We all have families; we all have to take care of them. So, all members of the IATF are giving their best shot because they know eventually, it may enter their homes.”
Pangilinan’s opposition colleague, Senator Risa Hontiveros, asked the Senate to investigate the latest IATF setup, which she described as “toxic micromanagement.” — DVM, GMA News