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Robredo to gov’t: Don’t be ‘onion-skinned’, be open to criticism on COVID-19 response

By Raymund Antonio

The Duterte administration should not be too sensitive whenever she criticizes its shortcomings in handling the coronavirus crisis in the country, Vice President Leni Robredo said on Sunday.

Vice-President Leni Robredo, speaks duringa press conference at her office in Quezon City. Robredo accpeted the position given to her by President Rodrigo Duterte to co-chair the Anti-Illegal Drugs Council. (Mark Balmores / MANILA BULLETIN)

Vice-President Leni Robredo

Speaking on her weekly radio show, “BISErbisyong Leni,” Robredo told her fellow government officials that they should not be “onion-skinned.”

“Hindi ito panahon para magkampante tayo. Hindi ito panahon para iyong pagkakamali natin paulit-ulit nating ginagawa kaya ang hinihiling ko nga sa administrasyon na i-assess kung saan tayo nagkakamali (This is not the time to be complacent. This is not the time to repeat our same mistakes, so I’m requesting the administration to assess where we are making a mistake),” she said.

“Obviously, mayroon tayong hindi tamang ginagawa. Kasi kapag tiningnan mo iyong datos, hindi maganda iyong performance natin kumpara sa mga ASEAN nations (Obviously, we are doing something that’s is not right. Because if you look at the data, our performance is not good compared to other ASEAN nations),” Robredo added.

Robredo was responding to the statement of Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque that she was looking at the “glass half-empty” on the government’s response against COVID-19.

Roque said Robredo once again engaged in nitpicking to criticize the administration for her political gains.

But the opposition leader denied she was playing politics with her criticisms, especially in this time of the pandemic.

“May plataporma ako para i-call out sila at gagawin ko iyon kasi ang makikinabang iyong taumbayan. Wala naman akong interest para mamulitika (I have a platform to call them out and I’ll do that because it will benefit the people. I have no interest to engage in politicking),” she said.

Robredo explained that one way to solve the COVID-19 crisis is for the government to admit such mistakes.

“Hindi ito ordinaryong panahon. Panahon ito ng krisis na wala tayong espasyo sa pagkakamali kasi bawat pagkakamali ay buhay ang nakataya (This is not an ordinary time. It is a time of crisis that we should have no room for mistakes because lives are at stake),” she said.

“Kapag hindi natin inaamin ’yung pagkakamali natin, kapag masyado tayong sensitive sa puna, kawawa naman iyong taong bayan (If we don’t admit our mistakes, if we are sensitive to criticisms, the people are at the losing end),” Robredo stressed.

She said she hoped the administration will be open to criticisms and suggestions from other sectors to improve efforts in addressing the pandemic.

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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