Duterte recognizes his vulnerability to COVID-19

Published February 25, 2021, 12:10 AM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Despite acknowledging the fact that he is vulnerable to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), President Duterte said he cannot help but remove his face mask when speaking, pointing out that the Philippines has a vice president who will succeed him anyway if he dies.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte

Duterte made the statement as he reminded the public to wear their face masks properly as doing so will save them from a lot of trouble and unnecessary expenses.

In his weekly public address, President Duterte recognized the criticisms against him for not walking the talk about wearing face masks properly.

“I’ve been criticized– tama kayo. ‘Itong si Duterte nagsasalita hindi naman sinusunod,’ tama kayo. ‘Hindi naman nagma-mask,’ tama kayo (I’ve been criticized– and you are right. You’re saying that I don’t follow my own advice, you’re right. I’m not wearing a face mask, you are right),” he said Wednesday evening.

He, however, explained that he found it difficult to speak whenever he is wearing a mask.

“Hindi ho ako holdaper na sanay magsalita nitong naka-[mask] kaya tinatanggal ko (I am not a hold-upper who are used to speaking while wearing a mask. That’s why I keep on removing it),” Duterte said.

According to the President, he knows that he is vulnerable to COVID-19 but said Vice President Leni Robredo was there to succeed him in case something happens.

“Now, I run the risk of baka ako madali rin (getting COVID-19),” he said.

“May vice president man. Siya na ang susunod. Wala tayong magawa (We have a vice president anyway. She will take over. There’s nothing we can do about that),” he added. 

Last week, President Duterte said that Vice President Leni Robredo was not qualified to become president because she does not know her role in government. In 2018, he also admitted that he would prefer the likes of Sorsogon Governor Francis Escudero and defeated vice-presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to replace him instead of Robredo.