Filtered By: Topstories

Duterte to Robredo after criticism: Do not add fuel to the fire

President Rodrigo Duterte took offense on the criticism of Vice President Leni Robredo to the government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, saying it is adding "fuel to the fire."

“Itong sinasabi ni Leni na kung 'di gawin ng gobyerno, gagawin ng tao… panahon ito ng pandemic, desperado ang tao… dadagdag kayo, wala naman kayo basehan,” Duterte said in an address recorded Monday night and aired Tuesday morning.

“Do not add fuel to the fire. You will just destroy the government,” he added.

Duterte then said that destroying the government — or even his death — is not the solution to the country's problem.

“Huwag niyo sirain ang gobyerno kasi masisira ang tao. Pag nasira ang gobyerno, lulutang tayo lahat,” he said.

“Kahit sabihin mo mamatay ako bukas, it cannot solve the problem of the country.” 

In a 20-minute speech Monday night, Robredo, a vocal critic of the Duterte administration, raised the issue of confidence amid the national health emergency.

“Let me emphasize: Confidence keeps the economy rolling. And the truth is, even before the pandemic, our economy could not reach its full potential because of lack of confidence... This is why, especially now that we are grappling with a pandemic, the last thing that we need is even more instances that erode confidence,” she said.

Due to this lack of confidence to the government, Filipinos “are willing to man the oars,” Robredo said.

“What we need is someone to point us towards the proper direction. Someone to steer the ship of state,” she added.

In the same speech, Robredo also said, “[I]f no one will lead us, we will do this ourselves; we will step up to the plate, we will help each other, carry one another. We ourselves will face this challenge, lead the charge; we will take it upon ourselves to do what needs to be done to overcome any obstacle, in the name of our fellowmen.”

Robredo issued the message after meeting with researchers, analysts, professors, and other experts on the economy over the past weeks on how the country can cope wih the backlash of the health crisis that has left millions of Filipinos jobless and hungry.

'Theatrical pretenses'

For his part, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said “theatrical pretenses are good for the stage and not the real world.”

“Even in times of pandemic despite their sufferance, Filipinos can see through such farce even if it momentarily amuses them,” he said in a statement in response to Robredo’s public address.

Panelo added that Robredo’s suggestions on COVID-19 response have long been undertaken and are continuously being done by the government.

“It is crystal clear that VP Robredo is trying to undermine the efforts of the government in managing the crisis. She appears to have mastered the art of appearing politically relevant while exhibiting her pretended concern, and succeeding to mislead her supporters and the gullible,” he said. —with Virgil Lopez/KBK, GMA News