Malacañang on Tuesday said health workers critical of President Rodrigo Duterte should vote for their own president as he questioned what planet they were on.

Palace spokesman Harry Roque made the statement in response to Medical Action Group’s call for Duterte and his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, to inhibit themselves from seeking political posts in 2022 due to the government’s handling of the health crisis.

“Hindi ko po alam kung saang planeta nakatira ‘yang mga health workers na ayaw kay presidente kasi buong daigdig po ang sinasalanta ng ganitong problema,” Roque said in a Palace briefing.

Roque said the Philippines, which has 2,121,308 Covid-19 cases as of Sept. 7, was not the only country in the world experiencing a fresh surge in Covid-19 cases due to the Delta variant.

He also claimed that anti-Duterte frontliners were in the minority.

“[T]hey’re entitled to their opinion, obviously iba ang presidente nila. Pero mayroon din pong mga medical frontliners na nagpapasalamat sa benepisyo na naibigay sa kanila at pagkilala sa kanilang bayanihan,” Roque said.

Duterte’s government, aside from its pandemic response, is being criticized for its slow distribution of stipends for health workers.

“Pero nirirespeto rin po namin na mayroong kakaunti na talagang wala pong mabuting masabi tungkol sa ating presidente. Hayaan ninyo silang bumoto ng kanilang presidential candidate and good luck!” Roque said.

Duterte has expressed his intention of running for the vice presidency in 2022, while his daughter has yet to announce her plans. John Ezekiel J. Hirro