Robredo 'politicking, nitpicking' gov't's COVID-19 response — Roque

Published August 11, 2021, 5:11 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque accused Vice President Leni Robredo of politicking, saying she has developed a “weekly media habit” of nitpicking the Executive’s coronavirus (COVID-19) response.

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque and Vice President Leni Robredo (Manila Bulletin File Photos)

Roque made the statement after the Vice President urged the government to have an “all-hands-on-deck” approach to the rising number of COVID-19 vases in the country and called for a “timeout” on politicking after President Duterte hurled insults at an unnamed local chief executive.

In a statement, Roque said that while Malacañang welcomed Robredo’s anti-COVID-19 programs, her “weekly habit” to criticize the government was simply politicking itself.

“While the President has acknowledged the Vice President’s initiatives in the fight against coronavirus, Mrs. Robredo has made it a weekly media habit to nitpick the Executive’s COVID-19 response,” he said Wednesday, August 11.

“It has become noticeable that her criticisms have become incessant and non-stop as the country approaches an election season. This is simply politicking,” he added.

Roque said Robredo was right that all eyes should be on the surge of COVID-19 cases but reminded her that this has been what the Duterte administration has been doing to address the pandemic.

“It has been a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach from the cash aid to vaccination to the re-opening of the economy,” he said.

“There is close coordination among the departments and agencies of the national government, health and medical experts, local government units (LGUs) and other stakeholders like key private sector leaders not only when we harmonize policies on COVID-19 but also when we implement such policies on the ground,” he added,

The Palace official likewise acknowledged that the government has been right all the time as no country can claim that it was ready to face the challenges brought about by the pandemic.

“There is no handbook that deals with COVID-19 and this is why there are instances that we refine and update guidelines and protocols on the basis of hard data available that particular time,” he said.

“There is a world health crisis and we in government should take the lead in finding ways and means to ameliorate the effects of the pandemic,” he added.

Roque said Malacañang has always been open to criticisms but not to remarks that seemed to invalidate the government’s efforts.

“We welcome constructive criticisms, as evidenced by the appeals of the LGUs’ on community quarantine classifications, but not remarks that devalue the efforts of the national government,” he said.

“We may not be on the same boat but we are all facing the same storm; thus, we have to work on the same goal of magbalik-buhay, magpabakuna (getting our lives back and to get vaccinated),” he added.