Duterte annoyed at perennial critics asking his whereabouts –Roque

Published November 3, 2020, 10:49 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

Malacañang found nothing wrong with some people asking President Duterte’s whereabouts during the onslaught of typhoon Rolly except that it reeked of malice.

Presidential Spokesperson Atty. Harry Roque (Jansen Romero / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

According to Presidential spokesman Harry Roque, critics will always find fault at the President regardless of his action.

Duterte was nowhere in public sight when the strong typhoon unleashed its wrath on the Bicol region and other parts of the country Sunday. At the time, the Palace said Duterte was staying in his hometown Davao City monitoring the typhoon situation. 

The next day, Duterte visited typhoon-hit Albay and held a meeting with government officials on typhoon response. He also lashed out at critics over the hashtag #NasaanAngPangulo that trended online, saying he was merely waiting for the typhoon to pass to return to Manila.

“Siguro nairita si Presidente. Ano bang gusto ng mga kritiko niya na lalabas siya sa kalye habang bumabagyo? That’s pointless po dahil nagawa na po ni Presidente ang dapat gawin, hinanda na po ang lahat ng departamento at ahensiya ng gobyerno. (Maybe the President was annoyed. Do the critics want him to come out in the street while there’s a typhoon? That’s pointless because the President did what’s needed to be done. All government agencies were already prepared then),” Roque said in a televised Palace press conference.

“I guess there’s nothing wrong with that pero alam ninyo naman po, may malice na pagtanong iyan dahil iyan iyong mga kritiko na kahit anong gawin ni Presidente, hindi po, walang mabuting nakikita sa ginagawa ni Presidente. Bahala na po sila (I guess there’s nothing wrong with that but you know, there was malice in the question because the crisis don’t see anything good in whatever the President does. That’s up to them),” he said.

Roque however added that they hope to “convert” these government critics. “Anyway, they comprised 5% of the population and we will convert them still, huwag po kayong mag-alala (do not worry),” he said.

Despite the criticisms, Roque said the President was actually satisfied with the preparedness of government agencies for typhoon Rolly. “The President is very happy to note that everyone did their job to warn people, to evacuate, to prepare evacuation centers, to preposition supplies, to preposition equipment para ma-repair ang mga kalsada (to repair the roads),” he said.

More than 20 people were killed after the most powerful typhoon this year pounded Albay, Catanduanes and other areas last weekend. More than 600,000 people fled their homes and took shelter at evacuation centers as the storm destroyed houses, roads and toppled power and telecommunication lines.