‘Natural’ for public to look for leaders amid crisis, says Robredo
MANILA, Philippines — In a time when the country is facing a crisis, it is only “natural” for “people to look for their leader” and be assured that “everything is under control,” Vice President Leni Robredo as Filipinos took to social media to question the whereabouts of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Nakikita ko naman siya sa social media pero para sakin…in crisis situations, kahit hindi presidente, kahit nga mayor, ‘pag may nangyari sa lugar mo, people wait for the mayor to be visible, to say that ‘everything is alright. We’re on top of the situation. This is what we’re doing.’ Assurance na everything is under control,” Robredo said in an interview over ABS-CBN News Channel on Friday.
(I see him on social media but for me…in crisis situations, it’s not just in the case of the president, even mayors, if something is happening in their area, people wait for the mayor to be visible, to say that ‘everything is alright. We’re on top of the situation. This is what we’re doing.’ Assurance na everything is under control.)
She was asked to comment on questions being asked by Filipinos online about the whereabouts of the President and the condition of his health after his regular public addresses were canceled twice this week.
“Kasi ‘pag wala yung assurance na yun, yung tao, naste-stress siya. Parating yung tanong ‘san na ba tayo papunta?’ Kaya pa ba natin? ‘ I think that’s where it is all coming from,” Robredo added.
(If there’s no assurance, the public gets stressed out. They would constantly ask ‘where are we heading? Can we still hold on? I think that’s where it is all coming from.)
“May basis kung bakit naghahanap, kasi ganun naman, hindi lang presidente, governor, mayor, basta may nangyayari sa lugar mo, it’s the natural instinct for people to look for their leader,” she added.
(There’s a basis for them to look for him because that’s the way it is, not only for the president, even governors, mayors, when something is happening, it’s the natural instinct for people to look for their leader.)
On Wednesday, the hashtag #NasaanAngPangulo trended on Twitter as Filipinos questioned the absence of Duterte from the public eye.
In an effort to dispel speculations on his health, his long-time aide and now Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, posted what he said were recent photos of the Chief Executive.
Robredo, meanwhile, underscored the need for someone to take the lead in the government’s pandemic response even if it’s not the President.
“It doesn’t have to be the President. Although para sakin, malaking bagay kung yung Presidente yung nagtitimon kasi hindi makakahindi. ‘Pag si Presidente yun talagang mas mabilis. Mas mabilis kung siya mismo yung nandoon,” she said.
(It doesn’t have to be the President. Although for me, it’s a big deal if the president is on top of it, giving orders, because who would say ‘no’? If the President is the one giving orders, it’s faster. It’s faster if he himself is doing it.)
“Kung hindi si presidente yun, there has to be somebody na…yung ginagawa niya lang, parang conductor sa orchestra, he doesn’t play the instruments but he’s the one who’s putting an order in a lot of things,” Robredo added.
(But even if it’s not the President, somebody has to be the conductor of the orchestra, he doesn’t play the instruments but he’s the one who’s putting an order in a lot of things.)
“Yun yun nakikita ko na kulang ngayon kasi [That’s what is lacking right now because] in fairness to everyone, everyone is working. Everyone is exhausted already,” she further said.
Last week, the country saw record-high daily additional infections, with the highest single-day increase at 15,310 reported last April 2.
On Thursday, the Philippines logged 9,216 additional infections, pushing the total active cases to 167,279. The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country is 828,366.
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