PDP-Laban secretary-general and former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said his party mate President Rodrigo Duterte’s COVID-19 response has been a “failure.”
During a September 23 appearance on ANC’s Headstart,?he said that the rise in confirmed COVID-19 cases just cannot be called a “success.”
“Kaya ko naman sinabi ’yun dahil nga alam natin lahat – ‘wag na tayong magbolahan dito – na pataas nang pataas, paakyat nang paakyat pa rin ‘yung ating COVID-positive instead na pababa siya. Now, ano’ng tawag natin dito? Alangan namang tawagin natin ‘tong success,” Alvarez told Karen Davila.
“Para sa akin, Karen, let’s be honest about it. It’s really a failure. ‘Yung approach, the way it was handled, was a failure,”?he added.
The Philippines is expected to reach 300,000 cases anytime, and the majority of the people concur that the government’s response to the pandemic has also been a failure.
The country is in recession as millions are left jobless and businesses forced to shut down.
Alvarez constantly defended Duterte during his time as the House leader. He came to the defense when the president was being criticized for the war on drugs and his stance on reviving the death penalty.
Even with all his efforts, a coup d’état was staged by lawmakers which had him replaced by former president Gloria Arroyo, another Duterte ally.
Ever since that happened, Alvarez found it hard to meet with Duterte, but still holds no grudges, he said.
“‘Yung mga nagsasabi na halimbawa, bitter ako, tignan ‘nyo kung tama ako sa mga sinasabi ko. Tama ba ko o hindi? Kasi kung tama ako, eh ‘wag mo namang sabihin na bitter ako. Bilang isang Pilipino, dapat sabihin ko ‘yun,”?said Alvarez.
He thinks that a “localized” response should have been adopted by the national government which would’ve allowed government units to be flexible in facing different problems.
He also said that the banning of face-to-face classes should’ve been selective as other towns don’t really have fast internet access for blended learning.
He added that the importation of agricultural products should’ve halted to help out local farmers affected by the pandemic.
Alvarez doesn’t see himself as part of the opposition, he is just speaking on behalf of the millions hoping for an acknowledgment from the president.
“Let me be clear: I’m not criticizing the President. No, I’m not. Nilalabas ko lang ‘yung saloobin ko as a citizen of this country, na ito ‘yung nakita ko na mali?” Alvarez said.
“Kailangan ko sabihin. Baka sakaling pakinggan. Pero ‘di ako nagki-criticize sa ating Pangulo,”?he added.