Pangilinan: Urgent problems are hunger, jobs and pandemic

Published July 14, 2020, 4:56 PM

by Mario Casayuran

Opposition Senator Francis N. Pangilinan on Tuesday said loss of jobs, hunger and the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic are the urgent problems that confront Filipinos today, and not the so-called ‘’oligarchs.’’

Senator Francis Pangilinan
(Senate of the Philippines / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Pangilinan was responding to media queries on his reaction to the President’s address to soldiers in Sulu that he has “dismantled” the oligarchy without declaring martial law. 

Critics of the Duterte administration questioned the President’s pronouncement of having dismantled the oligarchy as this is reminiscent of the Marcos dictatorship when cronies replaced oligarchs.

Pangilinan cited a report last Monday by the Department of Health (DOH) of the biggest single-day jump in COVID-19 deaths in the country at 162 new deaths.

The DOH warned of further infections and fatalities unless “the people learn to live with the virus.’’

As of July 13, the total number of COVID-19 cases in the country was pegged at 57,006, second only to Indonesia in the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). A total of 1,599 deaths and 20,371 recoveries have so far been reported in the Philippines.

Pangilinan asserted that the problem of oligarchs is fabricated to cover up government’s dismal response in battling the COVID-19 pandemic and its ill effects, causing sufferings among millions of Filipinos. 

“Gawa-gawa lang yang problema ng mga oligarchs. Walang kinalaman ang pagsasara ng ABS-CBN sa matinding problema dulot ng COVID. Inimbento lang ang problema na oligarchs para linlangin ang taumbayan dahil sa totoo lang, wala silang maipakitang ni katiting na magandang resulta sa pagsugpo sa lalo pang kumakalat na COVID, sa gutom at sa kawalan ng trabaho ng milyun-milyon nating mga kababayan,” he said.

(The problem of oligarchs is a fancy tale. The closure of ABS-CBN was not caused by COVID-19. It was made up to fool the people because the government could not produce good results in containing the spread of COVID-19, solving hunger and joblessness being experienced by millions of our countrymen.)

Pangilinan then posed the question, “Saan tayo maniniwala? Sa gawa-gawa lang o doon sa totoo lang?” (What should we believe in — fantasy or the truth?)

‘’The total of coronavirus infections has more than tripled since June 1 when the government began easing stringent lockdown restrictions to restart the economy. On June 1, the total number of COVID-19 cases was 18,638, as of yesterday, it was 57,006,’’ he said.