Duterte living in ‘purgatory’ amid COVID-19 fight

Published March 30, 2021, 8:37 AM

by Genalyn Kabiling

Even President Duterte is having a tough time dealing with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

President Duterte in the Monday, March 29, 2021, broadcast to the Filipino people in Malacanang. (Photo from the Office of the President)

Addressing the nation Monday, March 29, the President admitted feeling like he was living in “purgatory” on earth as he steered the country through the unprecedented health emergency.

Duterte, known for his tough guy persona, said he wanted to cry as the country continued to struggle with acquiring more vaccines to help protect Filipinos. The world’s supply remained limited as many country’s are scrambling to get their hands on the life-saving drugs.

“It stretches the — a mile long ang — ang journey natin sa paano natin isugpo ang bakuna. That is how hard it is para makakuha lang talaga tayo. Iyon ‘yong ganoon kahirap. Gusto ko na ngang umiyak sa harap ninyo pero naubos na ang luha ko (It stretches a mile long, our journey on how to get the vaccines. That is how hard it is to get the supply. It’s difficult. I even want to cry in front of you but my tears have ran dry),” he said during a televised address from the Malago Clubhouse inside Malacañang Park Monday, March 29.

“Hay buhay. Kung alam lang ninyo ang — ang… Para akong dumadaan ng purgatoryo ngayon at this time hanggang hindi matulungan ang lahat ng Pilipino (What a life. If you only knew, I’m passing through purgatory now at this time until I have help all Filipinos),” he added.

The President, despite his struggle to fight the pandemic, assured the nation that the government would continue to strive to find more vaccines for Filipinos. He also vowed the distribution of assistance to people in areas under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

“We are really doing our very best, our very — the best of our best na talent getting the vaccine from anywhere na para menos-menos ‘yong hawaan (to reduce the transmission),” he added.

To those affected by the strict lockdown, Duterte tsaid: “Magdasal lang kayo. We will give you the ayuda. Ayuda is assistance, help (Just pray. We will give you assistance).”

The President made the latest statement after the country’s coronavirus cases rose by more than 10,000 in 24 hours, the biggest single-day jump since the pandemic began. The country now has recorded more than 730,000 cases with over 13,000 deaths.