Duterte gets ‘passing,’ ‘failing’ grades from solons over pandemic response
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte got mixed ratings from lawmakers over his administration’s response to the coronavirus disease pandemic.
Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate said Duterte should receive a failing remark over the failure of the government to contain the transmission of the viral disease.
Zarate said Duterte cannot pass the blame to other government offices and officials since the “buck stops with him” for treating the issue of pandemic as a joke.
“Ninety-nine percent ang rating ko sa President [pero] joke only. Talagang failure especially dito sa nangyari ngayon, itong crisis na kinakaharap natin, talagang a big failure, a big letdown itong ginagawang responses ng pamahalaan,” he said.
(My rating for the president is 99 percent, but it’s a joke only. It really was a failure especially with what happened in this crisis we are facing, it really was a big failure. The response of the government is a big letdown.)
The lawmaker pointed out that several government officials should have been held accountable already by now over the response to the pandemic, however, these officials remain in their posts.
“Sagutin ni Pangulong Duterte, at the end of the day, siya pa rin talaga ang may pananagutan sa lahat ng ito (The president should answer because at the end of the day, he is still accountable for everything),” he added.
House Minority Leader Bienvenido Abante Jr. however said that he is giving Duterte a passing remark, considering that he is “doing his best” to respond to the pandemic.
“Sa akin naman, if I will rate the President right now, I will still rate the President with a passing grade. Although siyempre litong-lito ang gobyerno sa pandemic na ito. Mukhang talagang nabigla tayong lahat, we were caught flat-footed, hindi tayo handa sa mga bagay na ito,” Abante said in an onlline press briefing.
(For me, if I will rate the President right now, I will still rate the President with a passing grade. Although the government is confused in this pandemic, it seems that everyone is surprised and we were caught flat-footed. We were not ready for these things.)
“Still I believe the President is doing his best. Kaya nga lang yung mga nasa ilalim niya, mukhang napakabagal kumilos sa pandemic na ito. So I will still rate him to have a passing grade, hindi failure ang ating executive,” the House leader added.
(Still I believe the President is doing his best. But it is those under him who seem to be slow in their response to the pandemic. So I will still rate him to have a passing grade, the executive is not a failure.)
However, Abante said that “some heads must roll” within various government agencies over their “slow” performance in responding to the pandemic.
Abante, however, refused to name which government officials he believes should be relieved from their posts.
But when asked which of the government agencies he thought had shortcomings in responding to the pandemic, Abante named the Department of Health (DOH) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
‘We cannot fail’
Marikina City Rep. Stella Luz Quimbo, meanwhile, said it is difficult to simply rate performance by a pass or a fail.
“Sa tingin ko ang dapat na grade is ‘we cannot fail’. We cannot afford to fail (The grade should be ‘we cannot fail’. We cannot afford to fail),” Quimbo said.
Quimbo said the government should report the true state of health of the nation and give the people clear to-dos on preventing and curing the virus.
Further, she called on the government to certify economic stimulus bills as urgent.
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