President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said Vice President Leni Robredo should spray pesticide throughout the country if she is determined to get rid of the coronavirus pandemic.
In his public address, the Chief Executive lashed out at Robredo for criticizing the country’s COVID-19 response as he insisted that the government is “doing its best” to solve the health crisis.
“Ito, si Leni, kung ano-anong pinagsasabi. Alam mo Leni, kung gusto — if you really want to do away with COVID, i-spray natin itong Pilipinas or Manila ng pesticide galing sa eroplano para patay lahat,” Duterte said.
“Wag na ninyong palakihin ang problema. Do not add something to the pandemic by making such reckless statements that we are not doing enough,” he added.
The President’s latest tirades against Robredo came after the Vice President lamented the supposed “lack of system” in the government’s COVID-19 efforts.
Robredo said this when she was asked in a television interview why she did not join calls for the resignation of Health Secretary Francisco Duque, who was heavily-criticized over his purported lackluster performance in leading the country’s fight against COVID-19.
“Iyong problema natin is so much bigger than Secretary Duque. Para sa akin, iyong problema talaga iyong national government, na parang walang sistema… parang walang cohesive na plano,” Robredo said in the interview.
Duterte, for his part, said the government has been exhausting its resources to provide the medical equipment needed by hospitals amid the health crisis.
The President also lauded the work of his Cabinet members, as he thanked them for their efforts in the country’s pandemic response.
“Ano bang enough na gusto ninyo? May ospital, may kama, at may punerarya. Nandiyan lahat. Ano pa ba gusto niyo? The microbes, the virus is flying around. That’s why you still have to wear a mask,” Duterte said.
“Gingagawa na ni Secretary Duque. ‘Yung halos di na kumakain, di natutulog… Wag ninyong pasobrahan,” he added.
The President also took a swipe against an unnamed priest who, according to him, has been hitting his administration’s handling of the crisis.
“Yung mga bunganga niyo wala nang ginawa para lang to criticize at idiin ang administrasyon. Wala sila magawa. May pari, sinabi, ‘Si Duterte, dapat magka-COVID.’ The day after, siya nagkaroon ng COVID, pu**** i**,” Duterte said, laughing.
President Duterte, who has been hit for his alleged reliance on military leaders to address the crisis, also maintained that the public should wait for vaccines against COVID-19.
“You cannot exterminate the COVID by itong ano lang. ‘Yung ganyan, the only thing we can do is wear mask. Wear face mask and wait for vaccine. COVID-19 equals vaccine,” he said.
So far, the Philippines has the highest caseload in Southeast Asia with over 290,000 coronavirus infections, of which 54,958 are active cases. The death toll, meanwhile, stands at 4,999.