Bong Go: Duterte plans to have one-week break after ASEAN Summit

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 24, 2019   •   1149

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (L) arrives at the Imperial Palace to attend the enthronement ceremony of Japan’s Emperor Naruhito, in Tokyo, Japan, 22 October 2019.  EPA-EFE/CARL COURT/POOL

President Rodrigo Duterte plans to have a one-week break according to Senator Bong Go on Thursday (October 24).

This is after the chief executive suffered a lumbar muscle spasm caused by a minor motorcycle accident on October 16.

Go said the president will have his one-week break in Davao after attending the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Bangkok, Thailand on November 2.

“One week po ang gustong pahinga ng ating mahal na Pangulo para naman po gumaling iyong sakit na nararamdaman niya sa likod niya po dahil sa pagkadisgrasya po sa motor (Our beloved president will have a one-week break for his back pain to heal after he had a motorcycle accident),” he said.

Go clarified that the President will not have a leave of absence and will still continue his paperwork.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Duterte urges public not to be choosy with COVID-19 vaccine brands

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte urged the public anew not to be choosy with coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine brands.

During his Talk to the People on Tuesday night (October 19), Duterte expressed optimism over developments in the country’s vaccine supply as the government moves to build herd immunity.

However, he reminded the public to remain vigilant by continuing to follow health protocols; get vaccinated and avoid being choosy with vaccine brands.

“Do you know, if these vaccines that we have been giving to the population are not really effective and right, marami nang patay ngayon (many people would’ve been dead by now),” he said.

The president reiterated that the national government is trying hard to fight against the pandemic, and expressed his gratitude to other nations that provided aid to the Philippines.

“We’ve been trying hard, really hard to fight. [This] COVID program nakatutok kami lahat dito (we are all focused on this). I’d like to thank everybody who have really contributed to what we are now seeing,” he said. AAC

Duterte takes blame for lack of vaccine supply in early 2021

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte has taken the blame for the Philippines’ vaccine shortage in the early months of 2021.

During his weekly public address on Monday evening (October 11), Duterte lamented that it was difficult to get vaccines back then especially when the country has no vaccine manufacturing company. He said that the country had to fight with other nations just to get supplies.

Duterte added that he deserves the blame since he is the one seated in office.

Iyan ang nakabigay ng problema sa akin at kung mayroon man nagkasala diyan, aminin ko na lang. Kasi wala rin ako magawa, gusto ko bumili, wala naman ako mabilihan,” he said.

However, the chief executive said the vaccine supply in the country has improved which helped bring down the number of cases.

He reported that the weekly average of new COVID-19 cases has dropped to less than 10,000 while the current reproduction rate of the virus has gone down to .77 percent.

“If we continue to ramp up the vaccination of our people, along with our consistent practice of mask and there is gradual resumption of our economic activities, then we can hope for a better and truly merry Christmas,” he said. AAC

Duterte won’t withdraw memo barring gov’t officials from Pharmally hearings

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday night (October 6) defended his memorandum order barring government officials from attending the Senate investigation on the government’s management of pandemic funds.

During his regular public address, Duterte slammed senators who were calling for the withdrawal of the memo directing government officials and employees to no longer attend the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearings.

“Kayo ang nag-umpisa nito eh. Kayo ang nag-umpisa nitong lahat (You’re the ones who started this. You started all of this), he said referring to the panel.

READ: DOJ chief defends Duterte memo barring Cabinet execs from attending Senate panel probe

The committee is currently conducting investigation on alleged irregularities in the government’s procurement of COVID-19 pandemic supplies last year.

“I have to protect the Executive department from the incessant and steady dose of insults coming from the senators,” Duterte said. “There ain’t no way that I will withdraw it. You can do your worst and I will do mine,” he added.

The Chief Executive said government employees, including Cabinet members, should be focused on addressing the  pandemic instead of participating in Senate hearings. The President also slammed Senator Francis ‘Kiko’ Pangilinan for threatening government employees.

“I’m told that it was Pangilinan who said that ‘the worst is yet to come’ to mga empleyado (the employees). Who are you to threaten or even to intimidate government workers?” Duterte said. AAC

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