Dispatch from Crame No. 802: Sen. Leila M. de Lima’s Reaction to the Retention of Sinas, Roque and Duque


Share on facebook
Share on twitter

Let me once again emphasize that laws are established to protect people from abuse and greed from those in power. It should never, in any way, be used as a means to evade accountability by those in power.

For the past few months, we have been thrust into the middle of a health crisis of unimaginable proportions. The COVID-19 pandemic, as it stands, is already proving to be a handful for even the most competent of governments around the globe. However, here in the Philippines, it is invariably worsened by man-made disasters of incompetency and lack of integrity that the very President of this nation not only tolerates, but even worse, grants impunity to. Imagine, the President in the middle of a crisis, not even lifting a finger while already being confronted with solid evidence of ineptitude and lack of regard for public accountability.

The likes of NCRPO Director Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque and DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III are now devoid of moral standing to stay in government. It’s a wonder how they can still hold on, and hard, to their posts despite the public outcry against their actions. ‘Yan ata yung tinatawag na matitibay na sikmura.

Maj. Gen. Sinas managed to come up with every excuse for the “mañanita” thrown for him by his subordinates earlier this month. In an egregious display of double standards in law enforcement, he then led the filing of a complaint against the so-called ‘Marikina 10’ because they gathered in the streets to carry out a soup kitchen drive in Marikina for displaced jeepney drivers.

Pag mahirap, kulong, pag hepe ‘sorry’ lang at OK na dahil malakas ka sa Pangulo? Paano magpapasakop sa batas ang ating mga kababayan kapag nakikita natin na may taong kagaya niya na walang delicadeza at patuloy na inaalagaan ni Duterte kahit lantaran ang paglabag sa batas?

Sec. Roque, on the other hand, publicly berated CNN Philippines reporter Triciah Tejada for supposedly misreporting his statement that it is “up to the private sector to carry out mass testing.” In yet another display of hubris and oppression against our press, Roque falsely assumed that Ms. Tejada was the one who wrote the questioned CNN report, and that CNN Philippines was the only media outfit who reported that statement. Reports from all major news organizations belies Roque’s allegations. In spite of his well-documented error, this abrasive and arrogant Presidential mouthpiece refuses to apologize to the reporter.

Then, Sec. Duque, the top health official in our country, continues to hold his position despite his countless blunders. Simula pa lang ng quarantine natin, hiniling na po ng Senado ang resignation niya dahil sa pagkabigo niya na ihanda ang ating bansa sa pandemic na ito. Subalit sa kabila nito, pinanatili pa rin siya ni Duterte sa DOH.

The latest Senate hearing further revealed his ineptitude. Sen. Lacson highlighted a “systematic overpricing” in the procurement of medical supplies. Sec. Duque admitted that we have yet to conduct a mass testing program. And his recent pronouncements that we are already flattening the epidemic curve and are currently experiencing the second wave is so reckless, if not unfounded on basic science.

I cannot imagine that in the middle of this pandemic, the head of the health department, the lone medical doctor in the Cabinet, seems to be misinformed on the issue, thereby confusing other medical experts. It was only after his statement was refuted by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea that Sec. Duque admitted that his was just a “casual expression of an epidemiological fact.”

Mr. Duterte’s insistence in keeping the lawbreakers, the liars and the incompetent in their posts erodes not only our people’s adherence to the rule of law, but also our faith in government to lead us through this pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic for governments is, above all, a test of leadership and governance. Our failure in containing COVID-19 at the cost of our country’s worst economic downturn in recent history is a direct consequence of ineptitude in the highest office in our land and the people in whom he reposed his trust.

Tigilan na po natin ang pagma-mass testing ng pasensya ng taumbayan! ###

(Access the handwritten version of Dispatch from Crame No. 882, here: https://issuu.com/senatorleilam.delima/docs/dispatch_no._802)

Office of Senator Leila de Lima
Rm. 502 & 16 (New Wing 5/F) GSIS Bldg., Financial Center, Diokno Blvd., Pasay City

Trunk Lines:
(632) 552-6601 to 70 local no. 5750

Direct Lines:
807-8489 / (Rm. 16) 807-8580 /local 8619


© 2019 Office of Sen. Leila de Lima. All rights reserved.