President Rodrigo Duterte said Thursday the government was “on top of the situation” as Typhoon Ulysses (Vamco) caused severe flooding in Luzon less than two weeks after Super Typhoon Rolly.
“Rest assured, the government will not leave anybody behind. We will get through this crisis, I assure you,” Duterte said in a public address. “As one nation, kapit po tayo. Mga kababayan, magbayanihan po tayong lahat."
The President addressed the nation hours after the hashtag #NasaanAngPangulo trended online while Ulysses was dumping heavy rains in parts of Luzon.
Duterte on Thursday morning participated in the 37th ASEAN Summit via teleconferencing.
The President dismissed critics claiming he and other government officials were lax in responding to the effects of the typhoon, saying he hasn't had any sleep since Wednesday night.
"May mga nagsasabi na walang ginawa, tutulog, wala kaming tulog dito," he said.
Duterte said he wanted to personally help Filipinos affected by the typhoon as he assured the public of government assistance.
"We want to be of help. We have to be here and we want to share the grief, and we want to share the agony. Hindi na bale kung matamaan ako ng COVID-19," Duterte said.
Ulysses triggered floods that reminded some Marikina residents of Typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana) in 2009.
The storm, the fourth to hit the country in recent weeks, has complicated the Philippines' pandemic response.
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