Malacañang on Wednesday said that President Rodrigo Duterte was right when he said that Vice President Leni Robredo is unfit to lead a country.
In an interview with People’s Television Network, Roque said Duterte will also be voting in the 2022 election.
“Tama po yan. ‘Yan ay desisyon ng taumbayan pero kabahagi po ng taumbayan ay ang Presidente, na siya’y boboto rin,” he added.
Roque said that Duterte has served as chief executive long enough to know when someone is qualified to be president.
“At dahil siya’y naging presidente, alam niya yung mga kakayahan na kinakailangan para maging isang Presidente at ang kanyang naging assessment na sumatutal, hindi po angkop na maging presidente ang ating bise presidente,” he added.
Robredo and Duterte recently had a back and forth with each other recently after the former likened the President’s demand for the United States “to pay” to keep the Visiting Forces Agreement with the Philippines to “extortion.”
Duterte advised Robredo to “study more” if by any “unfortunate chance” she is elected the next leader of the country.
But it is not for Duterte to decide whether someone is qualified for the position, Robredo said.
People praised Robredo for her calm yet scathing response as they believe Duterte is in no position to lecture someone on leadership because his lack thereof has been evident from the moment he took office.
Staunch Duterte critic and veteran actress Agot Isidro certainly has no doubt that Duterte has been a complete failure.
Citing an article on Duterte and Robredo’s exchange, Isidro flat out said Duterte just doesn’t have what it takes to lead a country.
“Oo naman. Kasi Duterte definitely knows how to lead the country…. sa KANGKUNGAN!!!!” she wrote on Twitter.
Robredo’s spokesperson Atty. Barry Gutierrez also found it ironic that Duterte would act like he knows something about leading the Philippines.
— Barry Gutierrez (@barrygutierrez3) February 17, 2021
Trade Sec. Ramon Lopez meanwhile wants the COVID-19 restrictions to loosen up in order for the economy to start bouncing back. Citing the Philippines’ negative growth rate of its gross domestic product (GDP), Lopez said the country is running last as it relates to recovering from the pandemic.
“Medyo kulelat tayo ngayon, nahuhuli tayo pagdating sa recovery. In other words, tayo nagre-recover naman. Nakita natin ‘yung GDP [natin] na bumagsak … maliit na lang ‘yung negatives. From -16.5 naging -11.5, naging -8.7 o -8.3. So unti-unti na ‘yung minus. Pero ‘yung minus na ‘yun, minus pa rin. E dati, +plus 6 tayo, +6.5. So, bagsak pa din,” Lopez told ABS-CBN’s TeleRadyo.
“‘Pag kinumpara mo sa ibang bansa, tayo pinakahuli, lalo na ‘yung mga neighboring countries natin. Eh ‘yung neighboring countries natin, maliit din ‘yung COVID cases. Pero bakit naggo-grow sila o kaya mas maliit ‘yung bagsak ng economy nila? Tayo yung huli.
“E dati, pre-pandemic, tayo ‘yung second fastest. Tayo ‘yung isa sa pinakamabilis. So, anlaki ng nawawala. Anong ibig sabihin po niyan? Less economic activity. Siyempre, ‘pag may isang sektor ang nakasara, ‘yung kabit-kabit na sektor na nagsu-supply doon, yung nakapaligid doon, sarado rin. ‘Yung nagtatrabaho dun sa mga sarado na ‘yon, walang trabaho hindi nakabalik,” he added.
The unemployment rate shot up to 17.7 percent in March last year, leaving around 7.3 Filipinos jobless. The number improved to 10 percent in April and in May was only at 8.7 percent. Before the pandemic hit, joblessness was only at t 4.5 percent or 5 percent.
“Malayo pa rin sa 5 [percent]. Ang difference niyang 3 percentage points, mga 1.6 million na walang trabaho pa rin. ‘Di nakabalik,” he said.
Lopez said that loosened restrictions from transportation to commercial centers in June and October last year did not see a spike in COVID-19 cases because people were mostly compliant.
“Kasi nga ginagawa nga natin dahan-dahan, ‘tsaka ‘yung protection nung ating mga kababayan tuluy-tuloy,” he said.
“Because of that, naniniwala po kami na ituloy po natin ‘yung momentum na ito. ‘Wag tayo huminto,” Lopez added.
Duterte has constantly urged the public last year to remain calm and just wait for a vaccine to arrive in the country. However, the Philippines is behind in rolling out vaccines relative to its neighbors.
Over 11,000 Filipinos have so far succumbed to the disease with over half a million cases recorded nationwide.