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‘ A LOT OF MOTHERHOOD STATEMENTS’

Duterte SONA a politics of vindication – Church leaders

For some Catholic Church leaders, President Duterte said nothing new during his 5th State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Monday.

“A lot of motherhood statements, a lot of bad words and many threats but no clear program of what to do,” Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Manila Archdiocese administrator, said in an interview.

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“Knowing his record of strong words but inconsistent action, we cannot expect much this year. The needs of the people have not been addressed,” he added.

Fr. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) permanent committee on public affairs, said Mr. Duterte missed the opportunity to assuage the fear of the public due to the crisis besetting the country today.

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“I was waiting for inspiration and messages of unity and compassion but what I heard was politics of vindication,” he said.

The President lacked the specifics and focused greatly on the never-ending issue of drugs and death penalty, the priest said.

“He accused some of taking advantage of the government’s focus on addressing health and economic problems, but on the contrary, it is the government that took advantage of the people’s helplessness by passing measures deemed inimical to one’s fundamental rights,” said Secillano.

The CBCP official added that instead of presenting clear strategies that will effectively respond to health and economic issues, Mr. Duterte prioritized shutting a media network known for highlighting failures in governance.

Malacañang on Tuesday hit back at those criticizing President Duterte’s Sona as lacking a recovery road map for the country amid the new coronavirus pandemic.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said it was not true that there is no detailed recovery plan, citing ramped-up test, trace and treat efforts, as well as economic recovery measures.

“That’s not true. All over the world, our tools against COVID-19 are testing, isolation, tracing and treatment. That’s why we are ramping it up,” Roque said at a press briefing.

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Asked to comment on criticism that the Sona lacked details of a COVID-19 recovery plan, he said: “They must be deaf, but I saw it. There’s the Tax Reform Act, there’s part 2 of the We Heal as One Act, and there’s the stimulus package.” INQ

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TAGS: church leaders, Rodrigo Duterte, SONA 2020
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