Saving the nation from a pandemic virus
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez (The Freeman) - March 24, 2020 - 12:00am

Those who keep on spreading fake news and posting very negative criticism in social media against the president and the government should realize that not only are they not helping solve the problem, they are becoming part of it as well. If they cannot help, they better keep their mouth shut.

To criticize is the easiest thing to do. Any nincompoop or moron can say the nastiest thing against President Duterte. These people have nothing to do but point fingers and find faults. But Duterte is the one leading the whole nation and is the man who takes full responsibility for all that will happen to the more than 110 million Filipinos, here and abroad. He is the one making the critical decisions, based on the technical advice of his Cabinet and other government officials. He has to bite the bullet, face the music, and absorb all feedback from a very demanding and at times unreasonable citizenry. But he doesn’t care if people malign or discredit him.

But what matters most is that his hands are on the deck. He does not evade full responsibility and he is visible and always on top of all the government responses to all the challenges posed by this invisible enemy called COVID-19. Duterte is a hands-on head of state and head of government. He delegates work but he owns the ultimate responsibility. He delegates the techniques but takes charge of the strategies. He’s in command, unlike his immediate predecessor who used to point to subordinates the outcome of critical operations. Duterte is a septuagenarian who moves around and inspects men and women in the field.

It is not the netizens or his perennial detractors who will take the final blow and own the ultimate responsibility and accountability. He knows the buck ends with him. He cannot delegate accountability to Secretary Duque of DOH or to Secretary Año of DILG. He will face the judgment of the people and the verdict of history. That is why he needs our support and cooperation. The presidency is a very lonely and highly hazardous job. For those who keep on attacking him for not being fluent and eloquent in talking to the nation, they should be able to see that Duterte is very candid, spontaneous, and doesn’t make bola or try to humor the people. He calls a spade a spade and doesn’t mind his manners. He just wants to tell the truth even in its brutal and indecent forms.

What is more important is that he is sincere. He doesn’t sugarcoat his language with literary Tagalog like PNoy. President Duterte wants to tell the people the naked truth without embellishment. Netizens who are always complaining that he doesn’t talk like a head of state, should remember that what matters most is the substance and not the style of the message. What we should always remember is that he is trying his best to save as many Filipinos as he can. He is making so many draconian moves and earthshaking decisions. But those are the best options open to him. And he accepts full and unconditional responsibility for the final result.

Those who have nothing to do but post nasty remarks should remember that Duterte has a whole nation to save. Instead of bashing him, we should pray for our president and wish him all the best in his fight to save millions of our people. This is not the time to criticize. We need to unite behind our leader and help him succeed.

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