De Lima raps Duterte for venting ire vs. medical frontliners; says PRRD ‘should have focused on COVID-19 crisis in SONA’

Published August 3, 2020, 5:28 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Detained Senator Leila de Lima on Monday scored President Duterte for venting his ire at healthcare workers who pleaded to revert Metro Manila and some provinces under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

Senator Leila de Lima

In a statement, De Lima said the President heartlessly berated medical workers who have tirelessly devoted all their time and effort at resolving the healthcare emergency crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Dapat kasi ang naging focus ni Duterte sa kanyang SONA 2020 ay yung paglatag ng mga konkretong plano para tugunan and COVID-19 health crisis, lalo na ang suporta sa healthcare system at mga healthcare workers (Duterte should have focused on this issue in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) 2020 where people expected him to lay out comprehensive plans to solve the COVID-19 health crisis, especially his support for the country’s healthcare system and healthcare workers),” De Lima pointed out.

“Yan naman talaga yung inaasahan ng buong bansa noong July 27. Pero wala! (That was what people all over the nation expected last July 27. But there was none!)” she reiterated.

De Lima said the appeal of the medical community was appropriate and it is their right to raise the issue with the Chief Executive.

“Ngayon, nagalit si Duterte sa mga doktor na nagpahayag lang naman ng kanilang mga saloobin. Karapatan nila yan (Now, Duterte is angry at doctors who were just expressing their sentiments. That is their right),” she noted.

“Habaan na lang muna daw ang pasensya nila. At wala na daw ayuda sa mga mahihirap? Kanya kanya na lang? (He’s telling them to be more patient. And he’s telling the poor they can’t expect any financial aid? To each his own?),” she lamented.

“What a heartless leader,” she stressed.

Last Saturday, the various medical associations appealed to Duterte to place the National Capital Region (NCR) on ECQ once again as the rising number of COVID-19 patients rose to more than 100,000.

The call came as healthcare workers also start falling ill taking care of COVID-infected patients while the Duterte government eased the quarantine protocols to allow businesses to resume operations.

In their virtual press conference, the medical community leaders called on the government to reconsider the reopening of gyms, fitness centers, Internet cafes, pet grooming services and other similar enclosed establishments where persons can easily be infected with the coronavirus disease.

But in his speech Sunday night, Duterte lashed out at the medical frontliners and dared them to stage a “revolution” against him as he criticized them for going public with their criticisms.