WEEKS after saying that the Filipinos shall prevail over the pandemic, President Duterte warned of “bleak months” ahead and admitted that he is having a hard time addressing the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) crisis amid the continuous infection (with a running average of 12,000 cases daily recently), and limited vaccine supply.
President Duterte said the pandemic is taking much of his time and likened his situation to passing through “purgatory.” “I am having a hard time.
I’m grappling with the issue of Covid-19. It takes most of my time actually,” he bluntly admitted.
The President seems overwhelmed by the enormous problems engendered by the raging pandemic. Federico Pascual Jr., a Philippine Star columnist, observed that in his weekly appearances on TV showing him presiding over a meeting, the President “looks tired, unsteady in gait and halting in speech, which does not bode well for a nation in crisis.”
The President must be candid to the nation if he still can effectively govern. Slovakian Prime Minister Igor Matovic resigned following criticisms of his decision to buy Russian vaccines and his handling of the Covid-19 virus in general.
Italian Prime Minister Conte also resigned over Covid spending issues. Mongolian Prime Minister Khurelsukh Ukhnaa also resigned over his government’s Covid control measures.
If President Duterte follows the laudable example of the above-named heads of state, he shall have blazed a new trail of statesmanship for which he will earn the eternal gratitude of the Filipino people.