Duterte advised to keep focus on ‘poor’ Covid response than rant vs Robredo
MANILA, Philippines — Instead of taking time ranting against Vice President Leni Robredo, President Rodrigo Duterte should instead give “focus on addressing the poor response” of the government on the Covid-19 pandemic.
This was Senator Francis Pangilinan’s suggestion to the chief executive after Duterte again devoted a portion of his Monday night pre-recorded national address berating Robredo.
“He should just focus on addressing the poor [government] response to Covid, rising hunger, and the high prices of food,” the opposition senator said in a message to reporters on Tuesday.
“Solusyon sa gutom ang hinahanap ng taumbayan, ‘yun sana asikasuhin nya,” added Pangilinan, who also serves as president of the Liberal Party (LP), where Robredo stands as chairman.
(Our countrymen are looking for solutions to hunger, that’s what he should be addressing.)
The President — whose administration sought to increase to $16 billion the Philippines’ share in the military aid provided by the United States, ostensibly complaining about the aid the US was supposedly granting to war-torn Pakistan — recently castigated Robredo and Senator Panfilo Lacson for earlier likening with “extortion” Duterte’s demand for the US to pay for the retention of the Visiting Forces Agreement.
Duterte said Lacson has “nothing to do with” the issue, while he told Robredo that “foreign policy is vested in the president alone.”
But Pangilinan chided this remark from the President.
“Chief Architect daw ng Foreign Policy kaya walang say si VP o ang Senado…..so kung ang foreign policy natin sa China ay ‘aw aw aw’ ibig sabihin lahat tayo ‘aw aw aw’ din?” the senator wrote on Twitter, apparently mimicking the sound of a barking dog.
Chief Architect daw ng Foreign Policy kaya walang say si VP o ang Senado…..so kung ang foreign policy natin sa China ay 'aw aw aw' ibig sabihin lahat tayo 'aw aw aw' din?
— Kiko Pangilinan (@kikopangilinan) February 16, 2021
Duterte, who has opted to forge warmer ties with China since he assumed the presidency in 2016, has been repeatedly criticized for setting aside the landmark 2016 arbitral ruling against Beijing’s expansive nine-dash line claim in the South China Sea.
Duterte’s pivot to China was supposedly in exchange for loans and economic aid. His officials described it as a shift to an independent foreign policy and not kowtowing to China.
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