Press Release
July 19, 2021

Dispatch from Crame No. 1,102:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima's statement on the detection of local cases of the Delta variant


Kagulat-gulat pa ba na nakapagtala na ng local cases ng Delta variant? E sa pagkakampante ba naman ng mga namamahala aakalain ng karaniwang mamamayan na nalagpasan na natin ang pandemya. Yan ang problema kapag nauuna ang puro propaganda, puro papogi at puro pamumulutika sa tunay at tamang-pagharap sa problema. Once again, reality comes with a bitter reminder: this crisis is far from over and we should never be complacent. Our neighbors in Indonesia are a testament to this as they have now become the epicenter of the pandemic in Asia.

The support that our healthcare system should have been getting is sadly still out of reach. Despite the warnings from experts, the IATF continues to ease restrictions instead of ramping up our vaccination drive. Hindi naman nagkulang sa babala ang mga eksperto pero mas interesado ang gobyernong ito sa pagpapalabas na ayos lang ang lahat kahit malayo sa katotohanan.

Handa ba ang Pilipinas sa panibagong bagyong paparating? The numbers are troubling and they should serve as enough warning. The Philippine Genome Center, for instance, must be capable to cover more than the 750 current samples being examined and sequenced per week. With the threat of the new and more transmissible Delta, Delta Plus and Lambda variants, our bio-surveillance, treatment capacity and the long-demanded systematic contact tracing mechanism must be variant-resilient.

Aside from these prevailing gaps in our healthcare system, what's more concerning is this administration's reluctance to consider giving booster shots to medical workers vaccinated with Sinovac, even as concerns on their effectiveness against variants have begun to surface. Our medical workers remain our most important resource amidst this pandemic. It is a huge mistake for our government to put less importance on their lives in favor of the reputation of a foreign vaccine manufacturer.

Unlike neighboring countries like Thailand and Indonesia, and even Turkey and the United Arab Emirates - who have either considered or begun giving out booster shots - our leaders have proven time and again that they do not have the spine to stand up to China.

Let us not forget: Vaccines exist to save the lives of Filipinos; Filipinos don't exist to help vaccine makers make a profit.

As it is, we are several steps behind, yet we have the gall to tell people that we are "well-prepared" for the Delta variant. At the rate you're going, this isn't negligence anymore. One cannot help but surmise that this is deliberate, conscious and independent - calculated to make things go from bad to worse so you can once again parade your savior-complex and use it as your very campaign tool. Buking na kayo, kaya awat na. ###

(Access the handwritten version, here:

News Latest News Feed