Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Usec. Epimaco Densing III admitted Thursday, April 1 that the “Lugaw” person that he was alluding to was indeed Vice President Leni Robredo.
“Yes. Lugaw si Leni (Leni is Lugaw),” Densing told this reporter in a message.
On top of his admission, the DILG undersecretary for operations also launched fresh tirades against Robredo amid the viral online discussions on whether or not lugaw–that is, the food item–is essential.
“She has been a non-essential in this fight against COVID (coronavirus disease). Unfounded comments on IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force),’’ he said, obviously using some word-play.
Densing chided “Lugaw’’ for her supposed false claims and criticisms against the government, particularly the IATF, which allegedly failed to consult with local government units (LGUs) before implementing quarantine protocols.
“Before these protocols were issued, the LGUs and mayors were consulted,” he said, refuting opposition leader Robredo.
The NCR-plus composed of the NCR (National Capital Region), Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal is currently under an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) as a result of the alarming surge in new coronavirus disease COVID-19 cases.
Densing further said that Lugaw has been irrelevant in the country’s fight against COVID-19, and has made it appear that the government failed to enforce appropriate protocols during the year-long public health crisis.
In the end he advised Robredo to simply help in “unifying the nation” during this time of the pandemic.
“All she needed to do was support [the government],” Densing said.
Social media users called out the DILG official Wednesday night after he gave the following comment on the viral #LugawIsEssential video: “Sabi niya kasi, non-essential si lugaw. Hindi talaga essential si lugaw. Pero kung sinabi niya, essential ang lugaw, ‘yun, tama ‘yun. Ang lugaw. Pero si lugaw ang binanggit niya. Non-essential talaga ‘yun sa pananaw namin (What she said is lugaw is non-essential. Lugaw is really non-essential. But if she said that lugaw is essential, that’s right. The lugaw. But she referred to lugaw. Lugaw is really non-essential in our opinion).”
Although Densing didn’t mention Robredo, netizens believed that he was attacking her by using her “Lugaw” moniker.
Internet trolls have been calling Robredo “Lugaw Queen” or “Leni Lugaw” ever since pictures of her campaign team selling rice porridge spread online during the campaign period in 2016.