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'Don't Add Fuel to the Fire,' Duterte Tells Robredo After Criticism of COVID Response

Do not destroy government, the President said.
by Joel Guinto
Aug 25, 2020
Photo/s: from PCOO/VP Leni Robredo Facebook page

President Rodrigo Duterte has responded to Vice President Leni Robredo's call for the people to take action in the absence of leadership: "Don't add fuel to the fire."

Robredo addressed the nation late Monday and called on government to address the pandemic to restart the economy. It's not a choice between lives and livelihoods, she said. The Vice President closed her 20-minute statement: "At kung walang mamumuno, tayo mismo ang hahakbang, tayo mismo ang magtutulungan, tayo mismo ang bibitbit sa isa’t isa (If there's no leadership, we ourselves will take action. We will help each other. We will carry each other)."

In a taped address aired Tuesday morning, Duterte said: "Ito namang kay Leni and her ending statement, kung hindi ko raw gawin, ng gobyerno, gagawin ng tao (Leni ended her statement saying that if the government can't, the people will do it)."

"Please do not add fuel to the fire. You will just destroy government. Wag ninyong sirain ang gobyerno kasi masisira ang tao (Don't destroy government because you will destroy the people as well)," he said.

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Also during his weekly message to the people, Duterte said he would account for all public funds spent to fight the pandemic, send the corrupt to jail and prioritize the poor in the distribution of a vaccine. He also distanced himself from the call of a group of supporters to install him as the head of a revolutionary government.

Robredo is the leader of the opposition and has been out of the Duterte government since her resignation as housing secretary in December 2016. Below are the the full addresses to the nation of the President and the Vice President.

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