Malacañang on Tuesday challenged Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo to provide a solution to the Philippines’ Covid-19 woes as the country awaits the development of a vaccine.

“Hinahamon ko po si VP Leni, kung mayroon siyang solusyon na walang vaccine at wala pa ring gamot, sabihin po niya,” Palace spokesman Harry Roque said in a virtual briefing.

Roque said Robredo might become president if she came up with an effective solution.

“Sigurado po baka ngayon din maging presidente siya kung makahanap siya ng solusyon habang walang bakuna at walang gamot,” he said.

The Duterte spokesman claimed Robredo was ignorant of the administration’s accomplishments in its Covid-19 response.

“Tayo na po ang pinakamataas na testing rate…. Tayo po ngayon ay nagpapatupad ng Magalong formula sa tracing…. Napakadami na po nating isolation centers na naibukas, ang mga pampublikong mga paaralan ginagamit na ring isolation centers, ang mga hotel… At siyempre po, tayo po ay nagtayo na ng One Hospital Command Center na talagang nagbibigay ng referral service kung saan pupunta ang mga nangangailangan ng medical attention, balewala po iyan kay vice president at sa mga oposisyon,” Roque said.

“Sila po, wala raw tayong ginagawa. Well, sila lang ‘ata ang hindi nakakaalam kung anong ginagawa ng gobyerno. Buksan po ang mga mata at buksan po ang mga pandinig,” he added.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday accused Robredo and “dilawans” (“yellows”) for “deluding” Filipinos with their criticisms of the government.

In response, Robredo raised four “main challenges” she said the government should act upon, including pandemic-induced poverty, unemployment and hunger.

Robredo’s camp also called out Duterte for insisting the country could not do anything without a vaccine.

“Tuwing may malaking problema, ang sagot na lang nila sa ating lahat, ‘Walang solusyon. Subukan kaya ninyong basahin din minsan ang mga rekomendasyon ng mga doktor at ibang eksperto,” Robredo spokesman Ibarra Gutierrez said on Tuesday.

In August, Robredo said Duterte’s administration was not receptive to criticism and had settled for minimal effort.

“What’s bothersome here, for example, is the reaction of Secretary Roque to our public address because it seems they’re content. You know, the government seems content with what it’s doing,” Robredo said in a portion of her “BISErbisyong LENI” radio show.

“That’s what’s bothersome: They get angry when told that their response is lacking, and when you tell them that the response is lacking, they’ll say that it seems they’re being maligned,” she added. John Ezekiel J. Hirro