Senators slammed President Rodrigo Duterte’s State of the Nation Address for failing to address the continuing threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic in the country.
Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan aired his disappointment on Twitter about Duterte’s failure to mention any plans to handle the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Covid, gutom at walang trabaho ng milyon milyon ang matinding problema, death penalty ang isinusulong. Walang ibang hangarin kundi pumatay. Yan ang State of the Nation,” Pangilinan posted on his official Twitter account.
Covid, gutom at walang trabaho ng milyon milyon ang matinding problema, death penalty ang isinusulong. Walang ibang hangarin kundi pumatay. Yan ang State of the Nation.
— Kiko Pangilinan (@kikopangilinan) July 27, 2020
“Kapalpakan, kapabayaan at garapalang kurakot sa DoH at Philhealth ang matinding problema at kalaban, hindi si Drilon. Covid, matinding gutom at kawalan ng trabaho ng 10 milyon nating mga kababayan ang kalaban, hindi si Drilon,” he added.
Senator Risa Hontiveros also called on Duterte to focus on fighting the pandemic and reviving the economy over unnecessary matters.
According to Hontiveros, the president failed to present a concrete health and economic roadmap to end the devastating effects of the pandemic.
“Liwanag ang kailangan ng mamamayan, ngunit mas lalo lang tayong nalito at nadismaya,” she added.
Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Senator Franklin Drilon, who was attacked by the president a few minutes into his address, denied being a protestor of the Lopezes of ABS-CBN and his involvement in the water concession deals that were inked during the time of former President Fidel V. Ramos.
“Ang isyu sa pagpapasara ng ABS-CBN ay freedom of the press. Ito po ang aking ipinaglaban. Wala po akong utang na loob sa mga Lopez,” Drilon said during an interview on DZBB immediately after the President’s SONA.
“Ang akin lamang ay karapatan ng taumbayan na magkaroon ng right to information lalo na sa mga panahon ngayon. Wala po akong kinalaman sa concession agreements na ‘yan. Kaya ko pong harapin ang buong bansa at sabihin na wala akong kinalaman diyan. Wala po akong ginawa na naging abugado ng mga Lopezes, wala po akong pakialam sa sinasabing concession agreement ng pangulo. Wala na po ako sa ACCRA nun,” he added.
In an interview over ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo, Drilon emphasized that he doesn’t owe the Lopez family of ABS-CBN any debt of gratitude. He stressed that the franchise denial was ‘unjust’ and brings a chilling effect on freedom of the press in the country. The minority senate leader also stressed that people need access to vital information especially during the pandemic and that the closure of ABS-CBN will affect the 11,000 workers of the network who stand to lose their jobs during the pandemic. (RJ Espartinez)