MANILA - The Philippines "cannot afford" another 6 years of President Rodrigo Duterte's leadership through his daughter, an opposition senator said Monday.
Duterte, who is set to present his final State of the Nation Address later Monday, has expressed intention to run as vice president in next year's elections. His daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, initially said she will not run for president but has since expressed openness to running for the country's top post.
"The next 6 years will be critical, it will determine probably the next 20 years. We cannot afford another 6 years under this administration, another 6 years of daily killings, strongman iron-fist policies, subservience to China," Senator Francis Pangilinan told ANC's Headstart.
"Do you expect real change from the last 5 years to the next 5 years kung Duterte-Duterte ang mangyayari? Nasa tao na yun, sila ang magpapasya."
(Do you expect real change from the last 5 years to the next 5 years if it would be Duterte-Duterte in next year's polls? The people will decide.)
The President should present his plan on how to revive the economy and overcome the pandemic and the highly transmissible Delta COVID-19 variant in his SONA, the senator said.
"I don’t think at this point masasabi natin na pumapasa siya. Maaaring pumasa siya kung aayusin talaga niya...I want to hear later paano natin malalagpasan itong COVID, paano manunumbalik ang ekonomiya, pano matitiyak na yung vaccine rollout ay talagang sapat na," he said of the President's performance in the past five years.
(I don't think at this point we can say he would get a passing grade. Maybe he can if he would do his job well...I want to hear later how we will get past COVID, how we'll revive the economy, how we can ensure that the vaccine rollout is enough.)
"Pano natin tatalunin ang COVID, paano malalagpasan ang Delta variant para hindi mangyari sa'tin ang nangyari sa India at Indonesia."
(How we'll beat COVID and the Delta variant so what happened to India and Indonesia won't happen to us.)
The country's economy is a "laggard" compared to its neighbors despite having one of the world longest lockdowns, according to Pangilinan.
"Our economy has contracted the worst and the World Bank said our recovery will be most delayed," he said.
Pangilinan said that while the President signed into law measures such as free tertiary education, universal healthcare, and continued infrastructure projects of the previous administration, the big picture should be taken into consideration.
"Meron ding mga positibo pero sa kabuuan nasaan tayo ngayon? Pinakamatinding krisis since WWII, pinakamatinding health crisis," he said.
(There were some positive developments but where are we now? The worst crisis since World War II and the worst health crisis.)
"The broadest unity possible should be the objective of those who want better or those who believe we can do better."