‘Dig up past issues later’: Robredo calls for pause to politicking amid COVID-19 problems | Inquirer News
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‘Dig up past issues later’: Robredo calls for pause to politicking amid COVID-19 problems

/ 02:16 PM August 11, 2021
Robredo: Pandemic provides PH a chance to assess whom systems work for, fix errors

FILE Leni Robredo

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo on Wednesday called for a “time-out” on politicking — including digging up the past of political rivals — as the country deals with the rising coronavirus cases due to the Delta variant.

According to Robredo, the energy to pinpoint such issues are better placed on programs against the pandemic, saying that scavenging for rivals’ musky pasts can be done at a latter time, when the immediate problems of the country have been addressed.

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“Kung itutuon natin ang lakas natin sa pagtutulungan kaysa sa bangayan, mas marami tayong magagawa.  ‘Yong oras at energies na ginugugol sa pasaring at panlalait, magiging mas productive ‘yan kung itulong halimbawa sa Bayanihan E-Konsulta o sa iba pang COVID-related initiatives,” she said in a statement sent out by the Office of the Vice President (OVP) on Wednesday.

(If we would focus our strengths in helping each other instead of quarelling, we can do so much.  The time and energies allotted to making insinuations and insults can be more productive if used in helping our Bayanihan E-Konsulta or other COVID-related initiatives.)

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“All-in dapat tayo sa pagtugon sa krisis na ito. All eyes on the surge. Saka na kayo mag-ungkatan ng past,” she added.

(We should be all-in in responding to this crisis. All eyes on the surge. Dig up past issues later on.)

Robredo was apparently referring to President Rodrigo Duterte’s remarks during his public address to strip a Metro Manila mayor of the power to implement the distribution of the cash aid during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) for being inefficient and disorganized in his city’s anti-COVID-19 vaccination program and aid distribution.

On top of that, Duterte also lambasted the mayor for his past that required him to pose topless and in “bikini,” pictures of which he claimed to have seen circulating in social media. He then told the public if they would prefer a president whose training was just like that of a “call boy.”

Without naming names, Duterte was believed to have been referring to Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso, who used to be an actor in his youth.

At that time, Domagoso had criticized the administration for issuing a threat to unvaccinated individuals, prompting them to rush in vaccination sites. The mayor later claimed that “somebody’s” threats had triggered public fear.

But Robredo said that nothing would come out of engaging in political quarrels, as such arguments would not solve rising hospital occupancies, cure COVID-19 patients, and prevent job loss due to the lockdown.

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“Sa panahong ito, wala tayong mapapala sa parinigan at bangayan. Puno ang ospital, ang daming nagkakasakit, ang dami uling nagigipit dahil di makapagtrabaho… Hindi magagamot ng awayan ang COVID patients. Hindi ‘yan ang susi para maging mas efficient ang pagbibigay ng ayuda, bakuna, at iba pang tulong sa ating mga kababayan,” she claimed.

(During these times, we cannot gain anything from quarrels and blind items. Hospitals are full, many get sick, many are also finding it hard to earn because they cannot go to work… COVID-19 patients would not be cured by spats. That is not the key to making cash aid distributions, vaccine administrations, and other programs efficient.)

The Vice President is not the first to call out Duterte and his administration for politicking: on Tuesday, activist group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan said that it was petty for Duterte to dwell on politics amid a rising number of COVID-19 cases and the lack of a proper cash aid.

Robredo has also been vocal about her suggestions to enable government respond better to the pandemic.  Last Wednesday, she released several target numbers — like 750,000 vaccinations in a day and 120,000 COVID-19 tests daily — which should be the target for the government to ensure that the current ECQ statuses would be the last.

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TAGS: ECQ, Manila, Mayor Isko Moreno, OVP, President Rodrigo Duterte, Vice President Leni Robredo
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