Robredo: OVP trying to fill up admin’s ‘half-empty glass’ COVID-19 response
MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday advised Malacañang not to be “too sensitive” to criticisms as she pointed out that the Office of the Vice President (OVP) is trying to fill up the administration’s “half-empty glass” response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
During her weekly radio program, Robredo called on the administration to constantly assess its policies and improve in areas where lapses have been committed.
“Panahon ito ng krisis. Hindi ito ordinaryong panahon eh…Wala tayong espasyo sa pagkakamali. Kasi bawat pagkakamali ay buhay ang nakataya—hindi lang buhay ng nagkaka-COVID, pero buhay ng bawat frontliner, buhay ng bawat pamilyang nagugutom dahil hindi kaagad natin nasosolusyonan iyong ating problema,” Robredo said.
(We are in the middle of a crisis. These are not ordinary times…We don’t have any room for mistakes. Because every mistake we make, a life would be lost–not only the life of a COVID patient but also the life of every frontliner, the life of every family that is going hungry because solutions were not immediately offered).
The Vice President has recently questioned some of the policies of the administration in its response to the crisis and at one point said that the government appears to be in “state of denial” as it continues to praise its COVID-19 efforts despite a number of shortcomings.
But Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Robredo is “looking at the glass half-empty” and only fixating on the government’s shortcomings in its COVID-19 response “just to score political brownie points” at the expense of the Duterte administration.
Robredo, in response to Roque’s remark, admitted that she is indeed “looking at the glass half-empty.”
“Totoo na talagang tinitingnan ko iyong baso na half-empty—at iyong opisina namin sinusubukan na punuin iyon—kasi sa panahon ng krisis hindi natin maa-afford na hindi natin punuin iyong ating mga baso. Hindi ito panahon para magkampante tayo. Hindi ito panahon para iyong pagkakamali natin paulit-ulit natin na ginagawa,” she said.
(It’s true that I’m looking at the glass half-empty–and it’s our office that is trying to fill that glass–because in the time of crisis we can’t afford not to fill that glass. This is not the time to be complacent. This is not the time to repeat the same mistakes).
“Kaya ang hinihiling ko nga, sa administrasyon, na i-assess, i-assess kung saan tayo nagkakamali. Kasi marami naman tayong ginagawa—in fact iyong ating mga civil servants ay pagod na pagod na, iyong ating frontliners ay pagod na pagod na,” she added.
(That’s why I’m calling on the administration to repeatedly assess where we got things wrong. Because we are actually doing a lot–in fact our civil servants are growing tired, our frontliners are really tired).
Roque had also said Robredo’s critical remarks are “baseless” as it is “totally unwarranted.”
He also accused the Vice President of engaging in “nitpicking to criticize the government.”
But Robredo said the administration should not be too “onion-skinned,” adding that she is not using the coronavirus pandemic for any political gain.
“Kapag nagkamali iyong administrasyon, o patuloy na nagkakamali, sino ba iyong lugi? Tayo namang lahat. So bakit naman natin iwi-wish na magkamali sila? Pero kapag may mali sila—at pino-point out na ng iba na mali sila—na hindi nakikinig, ako. May plataporma ako para i-call out sila eh, at gagawin ko iyon kasi ang makikinabang taumbayan. Wala naman akong interes— Ngayon pa ba tayo mamumulitika, ‘di ba?” she said.
(If the administration makes a mistake, or continues to do so, who will be affected? All of us will. So why will I wish for them to commit mistakes? But if they do–and others have also pointed out that they made a mistake–they do not listen. I have a platform to call them out and I will do so for the welfare of the public. I have no interest–Will now be the right time for me to politicize the issue?)
“Sana makinig naman. Sana huwag masyadong balat-sibuyas. Nakita natin, many, many times, iyong comparison ng epidemic curve, ‘di ba? Iyong comparison ng epidemic curve ng lahat na bansa, at nandoon tayo sa hindi maganda,” she added.
(I hope they will at least listen. Don’t be too onion-skinned. We have seen many, many, many times, the comparison of the epidemic curve, right? The comparison of the epidemic curve of countries across the world, and ours does not look good).
“Kapag hindi natin inaamin iyong pagkakamali natin—kapag masyado tayong sensitive sa puna—kawawa naman iyong taumbayan,” she further said.
(If we don’t admit our mistakes–if we are too sensitive to criticisms–it’s the Filipino public that will suffer).
The number of coronavirus infections in the country breached the 35,000-mark on Sunday. Of the number 9,686 have recovered while 1,244 have died.
Data from the World Health Organization also showed that the Philippines has the fastest rise in coronavirus cases in the Western Pacific region in nearly two weeks.
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