Opposition Senator Leila de Lima on Wednesday, April 7, slammed the Duterte administration for being “delusional” over the main cause of the surge of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines, saying it should own up to the thousands of deaths that resulted from its “botched” response to the pandemic.
“Remind us again who decided to open up the economy without an effective testing, tracing and treatment system in place? Or who ‘dropped the ball’ in the vaccine negotiations? Or who downplayed the threat of the virus way back in February last year?” De Lima pointed out in her latest statement.
She said Duterte and his allies should stop blaming the new strains of the virus, the supposed lack of discipline of Filipinos, and the rich countries’ ability to corner vaccine shots as the reasons why COVID-19 cases in the Philippines, particularly in the National Capital Region (NCR), are still rampant.
If the administration would still insist that they are doing an excellent job in handling the pandemic, the opposition senator said they “truly are delusional and unfit to hold office.”
“We’re a year into the pandemic with nothing to show for it aside from a crumbling economy and a healthcare system on the brink of total collapse. We’re worse off than where we were a year ago,” she lamented.
De Lima also said the country could have addressed the health crisis better had the government acted swiftly, highly valued the lives of Filipinos over their “friendly ties” with China.
The Philippines, she said, would also be far better off had it adopted the best practices of some countries who have managed to curb the spread of the virus.
The detained lawmaker stressed that at this point, Filipinos should demand justice and accountability over the thousands of people who succumbed to COVID-19 because of the administration’s “incompetence and failed pandemic response.”
“We ought to seek justice for all the Filipino lives lost due to this administration’s deplorable incompetence, negligence and botched pandemic response,” she said.
“We deserve better! The day of reckoning will come. Justice will be served,” she further said.
As of April 6, the Philippines reported a record-high 382 additional deaths due to COVID-19, with the total death toll now standing at 13,817.