Dispatch from Crame No. 770: Sen. Leila M. de Lima’s Quick Reaction to President Duterte’s Late Night Address on 13 April 2020


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The midnight meetings of Mr. Duterte and his Cabinet COVID-19 Team give us a glimpse of his leadership. The whole meeting is light on Mr. Duterte’s leadership and heavy on his ego.

The meeting goes as follows: 1) He mentions and reacts on issues; 2) A Secretary sings his praises then gives his report; 3) Repeat #1 & 2.

I do not even understand why the Secretaries felt the need to feed Mr. Duterte’s ego. He was not even listening. He was merely waiting for his turn to speak again. Pathetic!

Recent history is clear on his failure to act sensibly, quickly and decisively on the COVID-19 pandemic. He tried to downplay the contagion and failed to initiate any semblance of preparation early on. His subservience to the Chinese government should have allowed us to be informed earlier and prepared better. But it did not. The opposite happened. He bought into the China propaganda—hook, line, and sinker. By the time he appeared to be moving finally, we were already playing catch up. No amount of propaganda will change that.

We are already making great strides towards extending help to our countrymen and preventing the spread of COVID-19. But instead of taking control of these efforts and focusing on ensuring that everything is implemented properly, Mr. Duterte is still finding time for Chinese propaganda. He did not appear interested or even informed of the reports and proposals presented by his Cabinet.

Mr. Duterte kept repeating this idea of selling off properties to fund the COVID-19- related efforts. That should be the last resort. His economic team is already doing a decent job raising funds. Meron ba si Duterte na buyer na pinag-iinteresan ang mga ari-arian ng taumbayan? China ba yan o crony niya?

Meanwhile, as Mr. Duterte continues to spout praises and gratitude to Mr. Xi Jin Ping, China, China is plowing deeper into our sovereign waters, further undermining our hold over the West Philippine Sea. China is now policing the academic papers of their own scholars and experts in an effort seen to prevent the spread of information inimical to their political interests. And many analysts are convinced that China is hiding the true number of their COVID-19 fatalities to project an image of success against the dreaded disease.

Alam na ng buong mundo ang kasinungalingan at kalokohan ng China sa nangyayaring krisis sa COVID-19. Naghahanda na ang mga gobyerno ng ibang bansa na pagbayarin ang China sa kanilang kasinungalingan. Pero si G. Duterte, tuloy pa rin ang pagyuko at pagsamba sa kanila. Pag hindi pa sya tumigil, baka madamay pa tayo sa magiging maaaring parusa sa China.

In order to pursue our COVID-19 measures to complete success, we need to stop being tools to Chinese propaganda. The Chinese government placed us in this situation. We need to focus on our own efforts, and prioritize our own people and our own country.

Tama na po ang pagiging pro-China. Maging pro-Filipino na tayong lahat.

(Access the handwritten copy of Dispatch from Crame No. 770, here: https://issuu.com/senatorleilam.delima/docs/dispatch_no._770)

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