De Lima demands justice for COVID-19 deaths


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Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has demanded justice and accountability for the Filipinos who succumbed to COVID-19 because of the Duterte regime’s incompetence and failed pandemic response.

De Lima, a social justice and human rights champion, said the Filipinos deserve better, stressing that the day of reckoning will come for all the so-called leaders who failed to prioritize people’s lives and neglected their roles in the country’s fight against COVID-19.

Nakakakilabot mabasa ang iba’t ibang kuwento ng mga kababayan nating hindi man lang nabigyan ng angkop na lunas dahil puno na ang mga ospital. Hindi sila basta numero. Totoong tao, totoong buhay, totoong pamilyang naulila at nagdurusa. At bawat araw, parami nang parami rin ang mga mahal sa buhay nating tinatamaan ng virus, at nalalagay sa peligro ang buhay,” she said in her Dispatch from Crame No. 1053.

“We ought to seek justice for all the Filipino lives lost due to this administration’s deplorable incompetence, negligence and botched pandemic response… We deserve better! The day of reckoning will come. Justice will be served. Panagutin ang mga palpak at pabaya sa tungkulin!” she added.

As the country’s cumulative total of coronavirus infections soared to 812,760, the Philippines reportedly reported a record-high 382 additional deaths due to COVID-19 as of April 6, with the total death toll now standing at 13,817.

The lady Senator from Bicol maintained that the so-called “leaders” in the country could have addressed the health crisis better had they only acted swiftly, valued highly the lives of Filipinos over their “friendly ties” with China, and adopted the best practices of some countries who have utilized to manage the spread of the virus.

Nakalulungkot isipin na maraming buhay sana ang nailigtas kung naging mabilis at maagap ang pagtugon sa pandemya, kung nakinig tayo sa mga totoong eksperto at ipinairal ang solusyong medikal hindi militar,” she said.

“As usual, sa iba ibinunton ang sisi: Kasalanan ng lahat maliban sa gobyerno. Kasalanan daw ng variant kaya dumadami ang kaso. Kasalanan daw ng mamamayang pasaway na labas nang labas. Kasalanan daw ng mayayaman na bansang nagdadamot ng bakuna,” she added.

De Lima further said: “Remind us again who decided to open up the economy without an effective testing, tracing and treatment system in place? Or who ‘dropped the ball’ in the vaccine negotiations? Or who downplayed the threat of the virus way back in February last year?”

It may be recalled that after the Department of Health (DOH) recorded the first COVID-19 fatality in the country on Feb. 2, 2020, Mr. Duterte allayed public apprehension about the virus by saying that “there’s nothing really to be extra scared of the coronavirus thing.”

The Duterte administration likewise shunned Western pharmaceutical companies until the last minute because he heavily relied on vaccines from China, leading to the delayed vaccine rollout in the country.

If the Duterte regime would still insist that they are doing an excellent job in handling the pandemic, De Lima said they “truly are delusional and unfit to hold office.”

“Mahigit isang taon na tayong nagdurusa sa pandemya pero ang tanging solusyon ng gobyerno ay LOCKDOWN. Walang katapusang lockdown. We’re a year into the pandemic with nothing to show for it aside from a crumbling economy and a healthcare system on the brink of total collapse. We’re worse off than where we were a year ago,” she said.

In a separate statement on Twitter, De Lima said the rise of COVID-19 deaths in the country both sadden and anger her considering that she personally knows of people who either died or are suffering because of COVID-19.

“Just lost a sorority sister and a dear friend (an RTC judge), and a staff. Both succumbed to COVID-19 on the same day, after just 2 days in critical condition. Another staff is on the waitlist at the COVID ward of a government hospital,” she said.

“I’m sad. And I’m angry,” De Lima added, with her ending the statement with #DuterteResign.  (30)

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