The word war between the country’s top two leaders is far from over as President Duterte slammed Vice President Leni Robredo anew for casting doubts in the minds of the public about getting vaccinated against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), telling the latter to “shut up” if she cannot help.
Duterte made the statement after Robredo said she was not opposed to the Chinese vaccine CoronaVac, but stressed that it should not be exempted from getting a positive recommendation from the Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC).
In his weekly public address, President Duterte said that Vice President Robredo’s statement only discouraged the people from getting the vaccine.
“Magki-create ka ng (You are just creating) doubt and we were doing everything– convincing– spending most of our time convincing the people that it is safe,” he said.
“Now if you create that uncertainty in the minds of the people, mas marami ang ayaw (many of them will really refuse to be vaccinated),” he added.
President Duterte said Vice President Robredo just muddled up everything instead of being helpful.
“Imbis na magtulong (Instead of helping) to convince the people, here she comes and making it appear that government has failed in its mandate of securing [the vaccine],” he said.
“She muddled up everything, thereby, as I said, creating uncertainty and doubt in the mind of the people,” he added.
According to the President, Robredo should just keep her mouth shut if she cannot help in convincing the people to get vaccinated.
“I hope the next time, kung wala naman siyang masabi na tama (if she cannot say anything right), she just, maybe, shut up,” Duterte said. In his public address last week, President Duterte ranted against Robredo about the same topic, prompting the Vice President to say that he sounded overly sensitive and his remarks were unpresidential.
In response, Malacañang said Duterte was only reacting to someone who was always wrong.