Duterte trends online… but not for the good reasons

Published March 28, 2021, 10:08 AM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

President Duterte emerged on Twitter’s trending topics on Saturday evening but the tweets were not to wish him a happy birthday but to urge him to resign following the reimposition of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the Greater Manila Area.

(Screenshot from Twitter)

The President approved placing Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal under ECQ from March 29 to April 4 to address the skyrocketing number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the country.

Filipinos online, however, were not happy with the decision and vented their frustrations online through the hashtags #DuterteResign and #DutertePalpak (Duterte is a failure).

DuterteResign got at least 16,600 tweets on Saturday evening while the #DutertePalpak hashtag remained trending as of the morning of March 28 with at least 89,200 tweets.

Netizens shared the same sentiment that the Philippines returned to square with the reimposition of the ECQ and that nothing happened in the country’s year-long bout against COVID-19.

“Daily reminder that PH debt is bloating to ₱10.33 TRILLION yet we are back to ECQ with the delayed and insufficient rollout of vaccines, congested hospitals, lack of medical equipment for COVID-19, no mass testing, and no financial aid for the vulnerable sectors,” Twitter user Gabrielle Kim said. Her tweet got retweeted at least 4,000 times and got liked by almost 7,000 users.

“Going back to ECQ again, while the other countries going back to normal already,” Twitter user Kairos said, attached to the tweet is a picture of YouTuber Pewdiepie with the caption “It is evolving, just backward.” This tweet got retweeted 1,300 times and was liked by 2,900 users.

Meanwhile, another Twitter user said that going back to ECQ shows the “incompetence of this government.” He added that Filipinos have the right to complain and demand because of the “unbreakable cycle.”

On Saturday, the Philippines recorded 9,595 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of infections to 712,442.

Under ECQ, only essential stores will remain open. Restaurants will be allowed to operate but for take-out and delivery services only. Gatherings are prohibited and there will be a curfew from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m.