Duterte to Robredo after pandemic suggestions: 'You'll just destroy government'

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 25 2020 10:42 AM | Updated as of Aug 25 2020 03:39 PM

MANILA (UPDATE) -- President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said Vice President Leni Robredo would "just destroy government," hours after she made suggestions on how to rescue the economy from recession due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

"You will just destroy government. Huwag ninyong sirain ang gobyerno kasi masisira ang tao," Duterte said in a recorded speech aired Tuesday. 

"'Pag nasisira ang gobyerno, lulutang tayong lahat, maski na sabihin ninyong mamatay ako bukas, it cannot solve the problem of the country," he went on.

(Don't destroy the government because the people will be destroyed. If the government is destroyed, we will all float. Even if you say that I could die tomorrow, it cannot solve the problem of the country.)

Robredo, on Monday, urged the government to consider giving the 10 million poorest Filipino families P5,000 monthly for 4 months to help them cope with the pandemic. 

She also suggested hiring indigent Filipinos as contact tracers, creating an unemployment insurance system, helping businesses shift to digital sales, rolling out livelihood programs for displaced migrant workers, putting up shared cell sites in areas with no signal, raising the pay of health workers, and boosting support for fisherfolk and farmers, among others. 

She ended her speech with the statement below. 

"Kung walang mamumuno, tayo mismo ang hahakbang, tayo mismo ang magtutulungan, tayo mismo ang bibitbit sa isa’t isa. Tayo mismo ang haharap, tayo mismo ang mangunguna, gagampanan natin ang anumang tungkulin para daigin ang anumang pagsubok, sa ngalan ng ating kapwa." 

(And if no one will lead us, we will do this ourselves; we will step up to the plate, we will help each other, carry one another. We ourselves will face this challenge, lead the charge; we will take it upon ourselves to do what needs to be done to overcome any obstacle, in the name of our fellowmen.)

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Appearing to react to this statement, Duterte said: "Ito namang kay Leni and her ending statement that kung hindi ko raw gawin, ng gobyerno, gagawin ng tao -- well sa panahon itong pandemic, medyo desperado ang tao tapos dagdagan ninyo ng ganoon, na wala naman kayong base, sana may maipakita kayo. 

(With regards to Leni and her ending statement that if I, the government won't do it, the people will -- well during this pandemic when people are desperate and you will add that, without basis, I hope you can show something.)

"Please do not add fuel to the fire," he added. 

Duterte's chief legal counsel Salvador Panelo, meanwhile, alleged that Robredo is "trying to undermine the efforts of the government in managing the crisis."

"She appears to have mastered the art of appearing politically relevant while exhibiting her pretended concern, and succeeding to mislead her supporters and the gullible," Panelo said.

Robredo's office has yet to respond to the President's tirades, as of this posting.