Press Release
August 4, 2020

Dispatch from Crame No. 868:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima's Reaction to Duterte's Address on 3 August 2020


Mr. Duterte says "COVID is the enemy, not the government." The Filipino people say, "COVID is the enemy, not the Filipino people."

Why, the Duterte Davao government asks, are the people not taking the COVID-19 pandemic seriously? The answer is, the Filipinos are taking this seriously but you don't.

We, the Filipinos, are desperate for any semblance of normalcy. We want to know that we can go to work and go home to our family without fear of giving them the virus. We want to be able to put food on our table. We want our children to be able to go to school and learn so that they can grow to be better citizens of the world than we ever were. We want to go to hospitals and converse with our physicians on how we can live healthier lives. We want to be able to travel to different parts of our country to visit friends and relatives or just go to the beach and lay on the sand and appreciate the God-given beauty of our country. We want to go to church and just be in the presence of our Creator.

The Filipinos want all that and more. Our people are doing all we can towards that goal. We are consumed by it. We deserve a government who will stop at nothing to lead us towards that goal; one who will not be sidetracked by issues that do not matter for now. We need a government of people who are willing to fight this war with us. Not those who are merely content on bowing to China and waiting on their scraps of vaccine. We deserve nothing less.

The call of our medical professionals for 'timeout' was not merely a call to tighten the quarantine measures. It is a call for government to get its act together because WHATEVER THE DUTERTE GOVERNMENT IS DOING NOW, IT IS NOT WORKING. Hindi pa ba obvious yan?!

In no uncertain terms, THE GOVERNMENT OF MR. DUTERTE HAS FAILED. From the very start, the Filipino people asked Mr. Duterte for decisive action. His government was given the blank check to spend however much we need to contain the pandemic. All we got in return are midnight ramblings and counterproductive politicking. Hindi na nga natutugunan ang pandemya, pagsira pa sa bansa ang syang ginagawa.

Mr. Duterte and his government were more concerned with suppressing dissent than fighting COVID-19: arresting protesters, confiscating placards, filing cyberlibel cases against disgruntled citizens, closing down a major media institution for imaginary and manufactured reasons, and pushing for draconian laws. Mr. Duterte spends more time blabbering about his perceived enemies than he does thinking about how to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Four thousand new COVID-19 cases per day and all Mr. Duterte can think of are the alleged rumblings of revolution against him. He even dared dissenters to launch a revolution to give him an excuse to resort to extreme measures, and ominously, a "counter-revolution," whatever that means in his distorted mind. Our hospitals are practically beaten to submission and Mr. Duterte still finds time to threaten the Filipino people with more violence.

Now that mass testing is finally on its way, maybe it is time for Mr. Duterte's government to do mass resignation. Si Mayor muna mauna. ###

(Access the handwritten copy of Dispatch from Crame No. 868, here:

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