De Lima to Duterte: People are dying and I’m still your problem?
MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Leila de Lima made a series of tweets on Monday night in reaction to the tirade she earlier got from President Rodrigo Duterte during his briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Mr. President, have pity on the people. Their loved ones are dying and I’m still your problem?” she said in a tweet written in Filipino.
In another tweet, she also accused the president of being the primary reason that COVID-19 slipped into the country.
“And don’t be a liar. We all know that it was you who did not want to ban the mainland Chinese [from entering the country] when the virus was spreading because you’re their lapdog,” she said.
De Lima then advised Duterte to focus on his job, instead of being fixated on his political opponents.
“Just work Duterte. If you just focused on working we would not have come to this. Just stop yakking,” she said.
Then she fired off another tweet that said “#DutertePalpak” — “Duterte’s a failure.”
Monday’s briefing was Duterte’s first public appearance after days of being away from the limelight. He started the briefing by giving De Lima a tongue lashing, accusing her of rejoicing over speculations that he was in bad health.
The president claimed that De Lima had been insisting that he was not capable of leading the country. In reply, he said the military would not have allowed him to keep his position.
He also said that De Lima deserved to be in prison for being involved in the illegal drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison.
De Lima has been detained on drug charges since February 2017 at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame.
Duterte also answered supposed criticisms from De Lima about his engaging in leisurely activities as the country was experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases.
Duterte did not attend any engagements the past week, with Malacañang officials saying it was a precaution because some members of the Presidential Security Group had tested positive for COVID-19.
His disappearance became the talk of the town, with people speculating that bad health might have been the reason he canceled his briefing twice in just one week.
Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go, the president’s longtime aide, posted photos of Duterte playing golf and riding a motorbike to debunk rumors about the leader’s health.
De Lima dismissed this, however, as a mere coverup of the president’s true capacity to lead.
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