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Robredo to Duterte gov’t: ‘We just want to help, we don’t want you to fail’

Vice President Leni Robredo said she does not want President Rodrigo Duterte’s government to fail in its fight against the crippling coronavirus pandemic.

Rather, the Vice President said on Monday, September 28, that she criticizes the government's inadequate response to the crisis and offers solutions because she simply wants to help.

“Ididiin ko: Gusto lang naming tumulong. Ayaw naming mabigo ang gobyerno, dahil kapag nabigo ang gobyerno, tayong mga Pilipino ang magdurusa, tayong mga Pilipino ang magkakasakit at mamamatay,” Robredo said.

(Let me emphasize this: We just want to help. We do not want the government to fail, because if the government fails, it is us Filipinos who would suffer, us Filipinos who would fall ill and die.)

The Vice President also said the COVID-19 crisis is no time to sow division between the Duterte administration and the opposition which she leads.

“Malaki ang problema, kaya dapat lahat tayo may puwedeng i-ambag. Hindi ito panahon para ipagdiinan ang hidwaang administrasyon o oposisyon. Sa panahong ito, ang mahalaga, Pilipino tayong lahat,” Robredo said. 

(The problems we face are great, and this is precisely why we should all be able to pitch in. This is not the time to harp on the divide between the administration and the opposition. What’s important, especially during this time, is that we are all Filipinos.)

On Monday, the Vice President faced the nation once again through a video streamed live on Facebook to outline 5 ways for the Philippines to beat COVID-19 like its Asia Pacific neighbors.  

While she believes the Duterte government has “good intentions” in their COVID-19 recovery efforts so far, Robredo said they have to be strategic and organized. Otherwise, the rise in COVID-19 cases would remain unabated.

To date, the Philippines has already tallied over 307,000 cases with 5,381 deaths and 252,655 recoveries. 

“Kailangan strategic at organized ang pagkilos. Dahil sa kabila ng mabuting mga intensiyon, hindi maikakaila ang katotohanan: Maraming Pilipino ang patuloy na nagkakasakit. Marami pang puwedeng gawin; marami pang kakulangang puwedeng punan,” Robredo said. 

(We need strategic and organized action. Because despite the good intentions, we cannot deny the truth: More Filipinos continue to get sick. More can be done; more gaps can be filled.)

“Ito ang simpleng katotohanan, at kung gusto nating baguhin ang trajectory ng bansa, kailangan nating harapin ito, at maging bukas sa lahat ng kaisipan, lahat ng mungkahi, lahat ng handang umambag – dahil walang ibang paraang malagpasan ang hamon na ito, kundi ang magtulungan,” added the Vice President. 

(This is the simple truth, and if we want to change the trajectory of our country, we have to face this truth and be open to all ideas, to all suggestions, to all who are ready to pitch in – because the only way to overcome this crisis is to help one another.)

Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country, Robredo has sent to Malacañang at least 3 sets of proposals to help boost the government's response to the public health crisis. 

But Robredo angered Duterte in August, when she said Filipinos were already losing “confidence” in the administration because there seems to be no one at the helm of the government's coronavirus response efforts.

The President then accused Robredo of fueling the anger of citizens against his administration.

The Vice President, however, said it is her duty as a Filipino to call out the government’s lapses–

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.