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We need a real leader to help our country recover

/ 05:02 AM May 06, 2022

In a recent interview, Sen. Bong Go gave the assurance that “President Duterte remains in good health and is on top of the situation and is determined to lead the country towards recovery” from the pandemic.

I beg to disagree with his pandering assertions.

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Mr. Duterte is obviously not healthy—not just physically but mentally. His actuations and incoherent ramblings during those late-night “message to the people,” plus his refusal to publish his health bulletin signed by a reputable doctor (from this metric, the likes of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III is disqualified) don’t inspire confidence. And posting setup photos of him “playing evening golf” or pretend-motorcycle riding just brings back the memories of the sick dictator Marcos Sr. flexing his muscles to prove he was “healthy.”

To Go’s claim that “he performs his duties every day as president and father of the nation,” I say baloney. From day one, he never performed the role of the “father of the nation.” A leader of a nation cares for all his people, including those who did not vote for him. Mr. Duterte has never forgiven those who did not support him and lumped them all as “dilawans.” In this regime, those who criticize the government are labeled as Red lovers or straight-up “communists” who deserve to be shot.

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Go also said that his buddy remains focused on “rebuilding the economy by ensuring that no Filipino is left behind.” The economy is in ruins because of the ineptitude of this administration! Why did COVID-19 affect our country so much compared to our neighbors? Because we were very late in imposing a travel ban on China. We have an arrogant health secretary. We have no mass testing and effective contract tracing. We incurred the highest foreign loans among Asian countries, but we have nothing much to show for it except the record for having the longest lockdown in the world. Meanwhile, the number of infected and dead continue to rise. And many people are out of work as more businesses are closing. Many countrymen are struggling just to put food on the table.

The senator, who acts more like the “surrogate president” than a member of a coequal branch of the government, also emphasized the importance of unity and cooperation in order to overcome the ongoing crisis. Meanwhile, his principal never misses an opportunity to lambast the Vice President who’s been doing her best to help the administration do a better job at governance with her well-thought-out suggestions and initiatives that benefit the marginalized sector especially. Even with his total control of all three branches of the government and with all the budgets and foreign loans he has amassed, when asked when can we expect to finish the vaccine rollout to cover everyone who’s qualified, the President can only say, “I don’t know.”

The only way for our country to recover is for a true servant leader to take over. One who is healthy, mentally, physically, and spiritually. One who believes in accountability and transparency. One who is respected by other world leaders. One who is not easily fazed by big challenges. One who unites instead of divides. One whose love for our country is genuine. One who is brave enough to stand up to a bully like China in defense of our territory. One who’s been leading and serving in sickness and in health. We need a leader who inspires hope. We need Vice President Leni Robredo to take over.

ED DAMES, San Lorenzo Village, Makati City

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TAGS: Duterte, Elections, leader, president
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