'Reality bites,' Duterte spox tells Robredo after 'bastos' comment

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 08 2021 05:22 PM

This composite image shows Vice President Leni Robredo and Palace spokesman Harry Roque. ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA — The government is beating the COVID-19 pandemic, a Malacañang official said on Monday, in reaction to Vice President Leni Robredo's call for officials to refrain from being rude in defending the country's response to the crisis. 

Palace spokesman Harry Roque last Friday told critics of the government to "drop dead," as he touted the government's subway project. 

Over the weekend, Robredo said officials who defend the government's pandemic record need not be rude. "Hindi naman natin dine-deserve na iyong mga public servants natin mga bastos, hindi natin dine-deserve na ubod ng yabang," she said in her radio show. 

(We don't deserve public servants who are rude, we don't deserve arrogant officials.)

Asked to react to the Vice President's remark, Roque said, "I can only quote Winona Ryder, 'Reality bites.'" 

"Hindi po matanggap talaga na nagtatagumpay ang gobyerno sa lahat ng kaniyang mga programa, kasama na po sa laban natin dito sa COVID-19 and reality bites," he told reporters in an online briefing. 

(They cannot accept that the government is succeeding in all its programs, including our fight against COVID-19, and reality bites.)

"Kung talagang may genuine issue po na ilalabas sa gobyerno, ilabas na po iyong totoong issue na iyan. Tama na po iyang mga pasaring na ganiyan. Reality bites is all I can say," added the official. 

(If there is a genuine issue against the government, that should be bared if it is true. Stop insinuations like that.)

Buy many analysts have said the Duterte administration failed in its coronavirus response, as COVID-19 cases ballooned to over half a million despite having the strictest lockdowns in the world. 

The Philippine government has amassed a total of USD13.34 billion or approximately P640.96 billion in loans for its COVID-19 response, DOF data as of Dec. 15, 2020 show.

The amount of loans nearly doubled since July 1, 2020, when total government loans for COVID-19 response stood at USD7.73 billion (approximately P371.67 billion).