Press Release
March 16, 2021

Dispatch from Crame No. 1,045:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima on Duterte's Latest Address to the Nation


I understand he is only trying to assuage the public when he said "Maliit na bagay ito sa buhay natin". It's an assurance bereft of a legitimate plan and diligent leadership.

This COVID-19 "fatigue" being experienced by our country is borne of a year of corruption and failure by this administration to stay on top of the situation. The disorganized efforts of the different government departments and LGUs smack of weak and ineffective leadership by the President.

We do not even have to look that hard to see the results of Duterte's gross mismanagement. Our economy is in shambles and our countrymen are grasping at the straws in trying to figure out how to make ends meet. We are seeing a dangerous surge in COVID-19 cases and our health sector is again pushed to its limits. Our vaccination program has yet to commence beyond what was donated for the frontliners. Our education system is failing our students at a rate that is close to irreversible at this point.

And while all these are happening, our police and armed forces, instead of helping manage this pandemic, are hell bent on murdering activists and each other. The various administration spokespersons are misusing their platform for politicking, red-tagging and even early-campaigning. The administration party is ever brown-nosing, spending copious amount of money trying to curry favor through mass-distributed tarpaulins that nobody asked for.

We have seen failure after failure, violations after violations, and abuse after abuse by administration officials, yet none of these officials are seriously held accountable. Our countrymen are suffering but those responsible are not being held to account.

We need a leadership that is up to the evolving challenge of this pandemic, not a sleepy old man who can only report for work a few hours a week. We need officials who have credibility and who can deliver on the promises, not one who is infamous for making ridiculous guarantees and failing in each one of them.

Last night Duterte said, "Huwag kayo matakot at hindi ko kayo iiwanan." But like his campaign promises, he needs to break this one. It is time for him to help our country. He should resign and leave for good. ###

(Access the handwritten version, here:

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