Duterte plans to visit Cebu City to personally remind ‘hardheaded’ residents of health protocols

Published June 23, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Genalyn Kabiling

Saddened by the coronavirus situation in Cebu City, President Duterte may pay a visit to the area just to remind its “hardheaded” residents of observing health protocols to curb the disease outbreak.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte holds a meeting with members of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on June 22, 2020. ALBERT ALCAIN/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte holds a meeting with members of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on June 22, 2020. (ALBERT ALCAIN/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

The President said he will send Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu to oversee the coronavirus response in Cebu and to give him “the picture of how grave the situation” is in the city.

He said there has been a sharp increase in coronavirus infections in Cebu City because its people became “too confident and too complacent” in dealing with the health emergency.

Read more: Duterte tasks Cimatu to oversee COVID-19 response in Cebu

“Mao na nga kamong mga taga-Cebuano, ayaw lang mo’g kasuko nako ha? Mag-prangka lang ta. Mas maayo nang mag-prangka ta. Muanha man ko sa inyo. Pag-abot nako sa inyo, prangkahan ta mo’g usab. Gahi mo’g ulo eh (That is why you Cebuanos… Don’t be mad at me, okay? I will just be frank with you. It’s better to be frank with you. I will visit you. When I get there, I will be frank with you again because you are hardheaded),” he said in a televised address Monday night.

Duterte lamented that some Cebu residents have flouted stay-at-home policy imposed by the government under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ). He claimed that while others stayed at home during quarantine, some Cebu residents were seen roaming the streets aboard their motorcycles.

Another military report indicated many people were roaming around in Talisay City while the “crowds resemble that of a wet market,” he said.

Cebu City is currently the only area in the country under ECQ, the highest in the four-level lockdown classification, due to the spike in coronavirus cases and high critical care use rate. The quarantine measures include strict home quarantine, suspension of public transpiration and mass gatherings, travel restrictions, and alternative work arrangements.

Read more: Cebu City might be PH’s next hot spot for coronavirus

Talisay City is under the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until the end of the month.

Duterte said health authorities have warned about the dangers of the coronavirus pandemic but Cebu apparently ignored them.

“I am just sad that Cebu has to undergo that kind of painful situation now,” he said.

He lamented the slow response of Cebu to contain the spread of the coronavirus. He said Cebu also tends to resort to blame-tossing and “nobody would answer for anything.”

“This is not the first time. This is not the first national emergency na ang Cebuano is murag — murag pandali — hili — hinay kaayo ang kuwan. Hinay mulihok. Unya og mulihok, magyawyaw pa kay ang Cebuano suberbiyo (This is not the first time that this happened. This is not the first time. This is not the first national emergency that the Cebuanos were slow to respond to. And when they start to work, they will complain because Cebuanos are recalcitrant.)

In a press briefing, presidential spokesman Harry Roque clarified that the President’s planned visit to Cebu City may push through only after the infection cases has decreased.

“Hindi pa siguro ngayon. Kinakailangan na bumaba muna ang kaso ng COVID-19 (Maybe not now. The COVID-19 cases must first go down),” he said.

“Taga-Cebu naman ang ating Presidente kaya kampante siya na maiintindihan ng mga taga-Cebu kung mayroon siyang sasabihin na galing sa puso at prangka (The President hails from Cebu so he is confident that the people of Cebu will understand him if he makes statements from the heart or talks to them in a frank manner),” he said.

The President is also determined to visit the military camps after being holed up in his Bahay Pagbabago residence during the quarantine period.

Roque said the date of the President’s engagements outside the Palace has not been finalized.

“Hindi na napigilan ng PSG. Talagang iikot na po ang Presidente. Dadalaw na siya sa mga kampo ng militar. Pero sa Cebu, hindi pa siguro in the near future (The PSG can’t stop him. The President will really go around, will visit the military camps. But for Cebu, maybe not in the near future),” he said.

 
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