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Lugaw is Non-Essential: Interior Official Jokes About VP Robredo

VP camp says it reflects on gov't.
Just now
FILE PHOTO: Vice President Leni Robredo serves lugaw to Taal Volcano evacuees on Jan. 21, 2020.
Photo/s: Twitter/Leni Robredo

An interior official at the forefront of the Philippines' pandemic response joked about lugaw or rice porridge being "non-essential," throwing shade at Vice President Leni Robredo for criticizing government.

Usec. Epimaco Densing said "si lugaw" is non-essential, using a pejorative of President Rodrigo Duterte's supporters against Robredo. He said "ang lugaw" is essential. The interview with One News TV was about rice porridge and food deliveries being allowed during the lockdown.

"Tama iyong sinabi niya, non-essential si lugaw. Pero kung sinabi niya, essential ang lugaw, tama 'yon. Ang lugaw. Pero si lugaw ang binanggit niya. Non-essential talaga 'yon sa paningin namin," Densing said in the interview.

The Manila Bulletin quoted Densing as saying that he was indeed referring to Robredo, calling her again "lugaw." By late Thursday, Leni Robredo and DILG were trending on Twitter.


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Robredo has not issued a statement on the tirade. In the last few days, she has been helping out in COVID testing in Metro Manila communities.

Continue reading below ↓

The Vice President's spokesperson, Barry Gutierrez, said Densing's comments were uncalled for.

"This guy epitomizes the admin's COVID response. With cases rising, hospitals full, & millions struggling, instead of doing real work he makes 'jokes,' plays politics, & bashes someone who's actually doing the job they're supposed to," he said on Twitter. 

"Di lang ito 'non-essential.' Ito ay pabigat," he said. 

Continue reading below ↓

Duterte had repeatedly criticized Robredo in his nightly addresses to the nation, at one time saying "mamatay ka na" as he accused her of insinuating that he had veen vaccinated for COVID-19 ahead of the general population.


Duterte Says Robredo 'Not Qualified' for Presidency

Robredo on Duterte Attacks: 'I Did What I Felt Was My Job'

The Vice President, whose legitimacy was recently confirmed by the Supreme Court after it dismissed her rival, ex-Sen. Bongbong Marcos' poll protest, has embraced the "Leni Lugaw" tag as something positive.

During a relief mission for Taal Volcano evacuees in January 2020, before the pandemic, she served lugaw to the displaced.

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