Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio on Monday chided Vice President Leni Robredo, saying that the latter should stop “giving advice” to the city government of Davao if she “knows nothing” about its efforts to control coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“The Vice President should refrain from giving advice if she knows nothing about what is happening on the ground. This has been the hallmark of her term as VP, where she puts forth comments on matters and affairs she lacks understanding and knowledge on and does not offer anything helpful to solve a problem,” Duterte-Carpio said in a statement.
President Rodrigo Duterte’s daughter made the strongly-worded statement after Robredo, during her radio program, suggested that Davao City could learn from the city government of Cebu as it was able to control the virus transmission despite the recent spikes in cases.
“In Cebu City, (the cases) are controlled and a lot has been done, the partnership… the LGU (local government) was not the only one doing efforts, even the medical community is very active there,” Robredo said in Filipino as a response to her co-host broadcaster Ely Saludar who mentioned that Davao City is now being referred to as the “new epicenter” of the pandemic in the country.
The term “new epicenter,” however, was rejected by Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, saying that an area can only be called epicenter when it is the “source of the infection.”
While it seemed like a suggestion, Duterte-Carpio took it as an offense and defended the private sector.
“The private sector has been very helpful and has tremendously contributed to the COVID-19 response in Davao City,” Duterte-Carpio stressed.
“In addition, the VP should not attack the medical community of Davao City as being inactive when they have been silently suffering and working tirelessly to help save lives since March of last year,” she added.
Duterte-Carpio also emphasized that Robredo should stop “involving the COVID-19 surge in Davao City” in her attempt at “politicking.”
“She should open her eyes to the surge of cases in localities all around the world and she might be able to say that a surge in cases where 85 percent of the cases are asymptomatic is primarily identified by aggressive testing, coupled with tracing and isolation/quarantining,” she said.
“There will be a proper time to attack my performance as an LCE (local chief executive) in this pandemic if she dares to run for President,” she added.
While Duterte-Carpio has yet to formally announce her possible presidential bid, Albay Rep. Joey Salceda and former Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya are convinced that she is running for president in 2022.
Robredo, meanwhile, said she has yet to decide whether to heed the call of her supporters to run for the top government post or resort to running for governor in her hometown Camarines Sur.
Nevertheless, Robredo remains the principal choice of the opposition coalition 1Sambayan as its possible standard-bearer for the next polls.