Trillanes dares Palace to let Robredo lead IATF in COVID-19 response
MANILA, Philippines — Former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV has dared Malacañang to appoint Vice President Leni Robredo as head of the country’s COVID-19 task force as he criticized Palace spokesperson Harry Roque for his remarks against her.
“If Malacanang really wants to flatten the curve, then it should appoint Vice President Robredo to be the IATF chair,” Trillanes, one of President Rodrigo Duterte’s staunchest critics, said in a statement on Friday.
“Kung si Vice President Leni ang mamumuno at magpapatakbo ng IATF [Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases], mas marami itong magagawa at siguradong mas maganda ang kampanya natin laban sa COVID-19,” he added.
(If Vice President Leni would lead and run the IATF, it would be more productive and the COVID-19 response would be more effective).
Trillanes slammed Roque for reportedly saying that Robredo should present solutions rather than criticize the government’s effort against the deadly virus.
“Bulag ba o nagbubulag-bulagan itong si Roque sa mga nagawa at kasalukuyang ginagawang pagtulong ng Bise Presidente sa ating mga kababayan sa harap ng pandemyang ito?” the former senator said.
(Is Roque blind or is he just turning a blind eye to the initiatives of the vice president to help Filipinos amid the pandemic?)
“Kung ang amo ni Roque na si Duterte ay patulog-tulog, si Vice President Leni ay halos wala nang pahinga sa paghahanap ng mga paraan kung paano makatutulong sa mga Pilipino,” he added.
(If Roque’s boss is just sleeping on the job, Vice President Leni is working hard to find ways to help Filipinos in need).
Robredo has rolled out several projects through the Office of the Vice President (OVP) in support of the country’s COVID-19 since the government enforced lockdowns in March.
The OVP earlier raised P36 million for the procurement of PPEs for health workers.
A free shuttle service for health workers was also launched following the suspension of public transportation due to the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine.
The OVP also opened free dormitories that will serve as temporary shelters for frontliners.
Trillanes then accused Duterte of focusing on silencing his critics rather than finding ways to help Filipinos, whose livelihoods have been adversely affected “due to the Chief Executive’s preference for using checkpoints instead of using science as a guide for his decision.”
“Duterte has opted to use checkpoints instead of mass testing and contact tracing,” he said.
“His failure to properly address the problem has devastated the economy and led to more COVID-19 cases,” he added.
The President earlier extended the general community quarantine (GCQ) over Metro Manila, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Santiago City in Cagayan Valley (Region 2); Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Tarlac, Olongapo City in Central Luzon (Regoin 3); Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon, or the entire Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon) Region (Region 4-A), and Occidental Mindoro in Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan) (Region 4-B) until June 30.
Meanwhile, Cebu City and Talisay City were both placed back under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), the government’s most stringent quarantine classification, until the end of June.
The rest of the country was placed under the most lenient modified general community quarantine.
To date, Philippine health officials have confirmed 27,799 COVID-19 cases in the country.
Of the number, 7,090 have recovered while 1,116 have died from the disease.
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