By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte has rallied the nation to pray together this Holy Wednesday so the country can defeat the coronavirus pandemic.
The President issued the call for prayer and solidarity after recognizing the grave threat posed by COVID-19 on the people and the local economy.
“This being the Holy Week, I am calling on the nation to come together this Holy Wednesday afternoon and pay tribute to the indomitable spirit of the Filipino and unite in one prayer to God to fight our common enemy,” Duterte said in his public address late Monday night.
“God is the only one who can really solve the problem for us,” he added.
The President admitted that although he no longer goes to mass, he often prayed for the country.
“Nagdadasal ako. Basta nagdasal ako para sa bayan kasi ang iba, iba ang Diyos nila, (I pray. I pray for our country. Others have different gods but) my God is the true God,” he said.
Duterte acknowledged that people will suffer as long as there is no vaccine for the coronavirus. The coronavirus also poses a problem for the nation especially since the government has limited funds for the COVID response, including the social amelioration program for the vulnerable sectors, according to the President.
“It might not really cripple a country, but it will of course, you know, cause a sadness and fear kung paano tayo makaraos dito (on how we can survive this),” he said.
As of April 6, the health authorities have reported 414 new cases of coronavirus disease, pushing the total number of cases to 3,660. At least 163 have died from the disease.
Amid the surge in the number of coronavirus cases, Duterte has announced that he is inclined to extend the lockdown in Luzon until the end of the month.
Stay at home, wear face masks
Duterte also appealed anew to the public to observe strict home quarantine to help contain the spread of the coronavirus. He said the public should also wear face masks and practice social distancing to avoid getting infected.
“Ang COVID ho is science, period. The reason why we are ordering you inside the house is also science, period. Hindi ito ano, kalaban na galing sa… It’s a g**d*** microbe that’s crawling all over the coun — all over the world,” he said.
Duterte also appealed for the “utmost cooperation” of the public in these trying times.
“Let us heed the needs of our poor brothers and sisters who are hit most by the pandemic,” he added.