OVP's Gutierrez: With high COVID cases, GDP dropping, is gov't response enough?   | Inquirer News
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OVP’s Gutierrez: With high COVID cases, GDP dropping, is gov’t response enough?  

/ 08:58 PM August 27, 2020
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Atty. Barry Gutierrez, spokesperson of Vice President Leni Robredo. INQUIRER.net file photo / Noy Morcoso

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque’s assurance that the government’s COVID-19 response is enough comes as ironic for the opposition, as the country has the highest coronavirus cases and biggest economic downturn in the Asean.

Vice President Leni Robredo’s spokesperson Barry Gutierrez pointed this out in a statement on Thursday, rebutting Roque’s earlier remarks that the government is doing fine in its efforts to fight COVID-19.


“[About] 205,581 COVID cases, highest sa rehiyon. -16.5% GDP biggest drop in ASEAN. 7.5M nawalan ng trabaho. 26% ng mga negosyo nagsara. Libu-libong stranded. Lumalalang gutom. Ito ba ang itsura ng ‘sapat na response?’” Gutierrez said.

“Ang hirap talagang tulungan ang ayaw man lang tanggapin na may problema,” he added.


(It’s hard to help people who cannot even accept that there is a problem.)

Roque was reacting to Robredo’s address on Monday, where she lambasted the government for lacking direction and leadership — criticism which Roque believes is easy to do when one is not at the forefront of the COVID-19 response.

Hindi po totoo na hindi sapat ang ating response. Siguro madali pong magpula dahil hindi tayo ang nasa gitna ng pandemya at hindi tayo ang inaasahang gumalaw,” Roque said in a televised Palace press briefing.

(It is not true that we are lacking in terms of response. Maybe it’s just easy to undermine because we are not situated in the middle of a pandemic and we are not expected to make the moves.)

In the said address, Robredo talked about various suggestions on how to kickstart and improve the ailing economy.  But she also noted how the country appeared to have no leader during the crisis, which is stripping the people of confidence.

She also claimed that it was as if government was contented on providing a meager aid for people, and then left its citizens on their own to survive.

Gutierrez also took offense to Roque’s latest call to stop politicking and instead help the government solve COVID-19 problems, noting that the Office of the Vice President (OVP) has been steadily involved in the pandemic response.


He shared a link to Robredo’s tweet where she highlighted OVP accomplishments during the pandemic.

“And by the way, ito ba ang itsura ng “namumulitika lang at hindi tumutulong?” Gutierrez said.

“Umayos naman kayo, please. Ang daming umaasa sa inyo. Ang dami ring handang tumulong.  Makinig din sana kahit minsan. Hindi na ito tungkol sa politika. Hindi na ito nakakatawa. Pakiusap lang,” he added.

(Please, keep yourselves together. A lot of people are relying on you. A lot of people are also ready to lend help. Sometimes you need to listen. This is not about politics anymore. This is not funny anymore. Please.)

Robredo said in a Facebook post on Thursday that they have accumulated a total of P61.86 million from OVP funds and donation drives, which was used to purchase 321,480 personal protective equipment sets (PPEs), serving 15,430 frontliners in at least 1,151 institutions nationwide.

[MESSAGE FROM VICE PRESIDENT LENI ROBREDO]Today, we share with you another report on our office’s COVID-19 Response…

Posted by VP Leni Robredo on Wednesday, August 26, 2020

This is the latest saga in the clash between the administration and OVP, which have been in a word war.  As early as January, Robredo asked the government to ban inbound flights from China, the origin of the latest coronavirus strain, to prevent an outbreak in the country.

However, such proposals were not immediately addressed.  After the lockdowns were placed, Robredo also made several suggestions — in s letter and public addresses, but Roque said in one occasion that the recommendations were not new.


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