‘What planet are they from?’ Roque on medical workers group opposing Duterte’s 2022 bid

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 8) — Malacañang slammed a medical workers group after the latter criticized President Rodrigo Duterte’s plans to run for the vice presidency in the 2022 polls amid the administration’s “failed” COVID-19 response.

Hindi ko po alam kung saang planeta nakatira ‘yang mga health workers na ayaw kay Presidente kasi buong daigdig po ang sinasalanta ng ganitong problema,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a Tuesday briefing.

[Translation: I do not know which planet these health workers who do not like the President are from because the whole world is affected by this problem.]

He was reacting to the statement made by Medical Action Group that said Duterte, as well as his daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, do not have the right to run for the government’s top posts in the 2022 elections given the issues associated to the current administration’s COVID-19 pandemic response.

The group said the country needs a new leadership to address the health crisis.

Roque emphasized that the Philippines is not the only country experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases due to the spread of the feared Delta variant.

The view of small groups, like MAG, does not represent the view of all health workers, he said. He added there are medical workers who are thankful for the benefits and recognition they are receiving amid the fight against the coronavirus.

“Isang grupo lang ‘yan... At they’re entitled to their opinion, obviously iba ang presidente nila,” Roque said.

[Translation: That is only one group and they are entitled to their opinion, obviously they have a different president.]

While he understands the difficult times being experienced by these frontliners, the spokesman said he also respects critics of the President.

Hayaan ninyo silang bumoto ng kanilang presidential candidate and good luck!” he said.

[Translation: Let them vote for their presidential candidate and good luck!]

Duterte already confirmed that he will seek the vice presidency in next year’s polls but will give way to his daughter Sara if she aims for the presidency.

Sara has yet to announce her final decision for the upcoming polls.