Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on Tuesday challenged Vice President Leni Robredo to come up with a solution to the COVID-19 crisis even as the world has yet to find a vaccine and cure for the disease.
Roque said Robredo might become president if she succeeds in finding a solution.
“Hinahamon ko po si VP Leni, kung meron siyang solusyon na walang vaccine at wala pa ring gamot, sabihin niya po dahil sigurado po baka ngayon din maging presidente siya kung makahanap siya ng solusyon habang walang bakuna at walang gamot,” Roque said at a news conference.
The Palace official made the dare after Robredo slammed President Rodrigo Duterte’s remark on Monday that a vaccine was the only solution to the pandemic. She also said that having facilities to accommodate COVID-19 patients and fatalities are not enough.
Roque said Robredo dismissed the government’s efforts to beef up the country’s testing capacity, put up more isolation centers and strengthen the health facility referral system under the One Hospital Command.
“Balewala rin po iyan kay Vice President at sa mga oposisyon,” he said.
“Sila po, wala raw tayong ginagawa. Well, sila lang ‘ata ang hindi nakakaalam kung anong ginagawa ng gobyerno. Buksan po ang mga mata at buksan po ang mga pandinig.”
In a radio interview on Tuesday, Roque also accused Robredo of politicking less than two years before the next presidential election.
“Alam naman ninyo si VP Leni, talagang campaign mode na eh,” he said.
“Pero sa tingin ko, magba-backfire iyan. Kasi habang ikaw ay namumulitika sa panahon ng pandemya, lalong magagalit sa iyo ang tao.”
Replying to Roque’s claim, Robredo’s camp called on the Duterte administration to listen to health experts instead of waiting out until a vaccine against COVID-19 becomes available.
“Tuwing may malaking problema, ang sagot na lang nila sa ating lahat, ‘Walang solusyon. Subukan kaya ninyong basahin din minsan ang mga rekomendasyon ng mga doktor at ibang eksperto,” Ibarra Gutierrez, the Vice President’s spokesperson, said.
“Ilang beses na ring ipinaabot ni Vice President Leni sa IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) ‘yung marami rito [sa recommendations]…para hindi naman kayo nagmumukhang inutil lagi,” he added.
The Palace acknowledged last week that Robredo will never say anything good about the Duterte administration amid her continued criticism of the government’s pandemic response. — RSJ, GMA News