Sarcastically recommending to spray pesticide over Manila from an airplane and waiting for a coronavirus vaccine is not enough to curb the spread of the pandemic, Vice President Leni Robredo said last night in reaction to President Rodrigo Duterte’s Monday night address.
“I couldn’t resist having [these] takeaways. I don’t feel it’s enough to just have a hospital, a bed, and a funeral home and wait for a vaccine,” she wrote in English and Filipino in a Facebook post, shortly after having watched Duterte’s weekly late-night broadcast.
Robredo suggested that the government should suppress COVID-19 through the use of “medical and non-medical interventions” while overcoming the various problems caused by the pandemic, such as poverty and hunger. She also suggested that the government should restructure “public and private finances” and rebuild the economy in “an inclusive, resilient, and sustainable way.”
“But the number one thing is, we can’t solve [the pandemic] by spraying pesticide in Manila by plane,” Robredo clapped back.
The vice president’s response comes shortly after Duterte slammed critics of his administration’s pandemic response in last night’s address, where he singled out the vice president.
“There are critics who are saying we are not doing enough. What ‘enough’ do you want? There’s a hospital, a bed, and a funeral home, everything is there…I hate to mention her name, but Leni, she’s talking nonsense. You know Leni, if you want, if you really want to do away with COVID, let’s spray the Philippines or Manila with pesticide from an airplane so it will all be dead,” an irate Duterte said.
“The only thing we can do really is wear a face mask, and that’s it, and wait for the vaccine. It’s COVID-19 equals vaccine, don’t make the problem bigger. Do not add something to the pandemic by making such reckless statements that we are not doing enough…Your mouths aren’t doing except criticize and crush this administration,” Duterte added.
It’s no secret that Duterte and Robredo haven’t exactly enjoyed a warm relationship. Just last month, Robredo said in a 20-minute public broadcast that the government’s pandemic response was directionless and without a leader, and Filipinos have no choice but to “step up the plate” and “help each other.”
Duterte did not take kindly to the criticism and regarded Robredo’s comments as a call to destroy his government.
Late last year, an irked Duterte assigned Robredo take over law enforcement as the country’s “drug czar” after she criticized the Duterte government’s bloody war on drugs. Less than three weeks after she took on the job, Duterte abruptly gave her the boot after Robredo asked for a list of prominent drug suspects. Malacañang said it fired the vice president because she was using the post “as a platform to attack the methods” of the administration.
This article, Spraying ‘pesticide’ over Manila, waiting for COVID vax not enough, Robredo tells Duterte, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.