Duterte says he has become 'inutile', furious over COVID-19 pandemic

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 21 2020 11:58 AM

President Rodrigo Duterte talks to the people after holding a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on July 21, 2020. Albert Alcain, Presidential Photo

MANILA-- President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night said he has become "inutile" following months of lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Duterte made the remark as he noted that science was the only thing keeping him from fully reopening the economy bruised by the COVID-19 crisis.

"I am as mad as you. Galit ako pareho tayo, sa nangyari. Ginusto ninyo na buksan ko na ang puerta. Gusto ko yan. Gusto ko, ang nagpipigil na lang sakin ang science," he said in his public address aired Tuesday morning.

(We are both mad at what happened. You want me to open the door. I want that too but science is stopping me.)

"Gusto ko, kasi nagalit na pati ako nagkulong ng ilang buwan. Naging inutile na din ako, I have become--except for the voluminous papers-- na inutile na ako. Wala na akong magawa. Ewan ko but COVID is COVID," he added.

(I want it too because even I was in lockdown for months. I have become inutile. I have become--except for the voluminous papers--inutile. I can't do anything. I don't know but COVID is COVID.)

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He, however, reminded the public to continue to wear masks and practice physical distancing to counter the spread of COVID-19.

"Ang importante talaga dito is your perseverance. You must persevere during this time," he said. 

Duterte, a Catholic, expressed confidence that God would not abandon Filipinos especially since the Philippines is known as Asia's bastion of Catholicism.

"Marunong ang Diyos. Alam niya, hindi niya tayo pababayaan especially Pilipinas kasi Kristiyano tayo. Magsakripisyo lang tayo konti," he said.

The Philippines, as of July 20, has 68,898 confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which 43,991 were active.

Duterte was in Malacañang when he placed the entire island of Luzon under lockdown mid-March. It was only on May 16 that the President was able to leave the Palace for his hometown Davao City.

Last month, Duterte approved the major easing of virus restrictions across the country in a bid to resuscitate the economy that shrank for the first time since 1998.