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Robredo: No need to be too defensive on COVID-19 response

Franco Luna - Philstar.com
Robredo: No need to be too defensive on COVID-19 response
This undated photo shows Vice President Leni Robredo.
The STAR / Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte's administration has not been very gracious in accepting legitimate criticisms over its governance amid the coronavirus pandemic, Vice President Leni Robredo said Sunday. 

Speaking on her weekly radio show, Robredo took issue with the government's recent responses to concerns with its coronavirus response, particularly with officials that slam her for making her criticisms known

"That's always what happens. For me, that's why these things happen, because there's no acceptance of shortcomings. If they need to defend themselves, then they should defend themselves. But for me, the way they try to defend themselves is saddening. Because is this really the kind of public servants we have today?" she said in Filipino. 

"I don't think we deserve having public servants that are rude and proud to the core. I don't think we're bad people for what we're saying. All of the data and statistics aren't even made up, they're always there," she also said. 

Over the coronavirus pandemic, the Duterte administration has downplayed or rejected criticisms over its handling of the global pandemic. Officials have also pointed out that other countries are also struggling or have accused government critics of politicking.

Other controversial issues were tagged as "closed" matters that Filipinos should simply move on from. 

READ: Palace 'delighted' that survey results 'only' at 45% joblessness | Asked about changes after Tarlac killings, Roque says opposition should change instead

On Friday, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque slammed critics of the government at a ceremony welcoming the arrival of the first of the Tunnel Boring Machines that will be used to dig the Metro Manila Subway, telling them to "drop dead."

The comment drew flak on social media, with many calling it unnecessary and unbefitting of a government official. 

Earlier in September, Roque was quoted as saying in a television interview: "Of course, as the leader of the opposition, we don’t expect anything positive about this administration from [Robredo.]" 

READ: Palace on quality of life survey: All of us are having a hard time | Roque gives government COVID-19 response a grade of 85

"Our problem isn't with healthcare workers. Our problem is with our response. We have the worst GDP collapse in the economy. We have the longest lockdown. Our transmission rates today are still high. We're projected to take the longest before we can recover," Robredo said. 

It has been 327 days since the enhanced community quarantine was first hoisted. The Philippines is still under the world's longest lockdown, while the number of coronavirus cases recorded daily continues to number in the thousands. 

OFFICE OF THE VICE PRESIDENT

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON HARRY ROQUE

VICE PRESIDENT LENI ROBREDO

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