Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate reminded public officials not to be “onion-skinned” when faced with criticism.

This was in response to the “lugaw” remark of Interior Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III, aimed at Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo. Densing drew flak for his remark.

“We should not mistake constructive criticism as an attack. In fact, we have to welcome criticisms, being in the position of trust,” Zarate said.

The congressman also noted that some officials in the Duterte administration were “too onion-skinned” and often resorted to ad-hominem attacks when criticized.

“Sino ba ang nagsimula na maging mainit ang usapin ng lugaw? Sila nagsabing essential naman talaga ang lugaw wag lang si ‘lugaw.’ Sila naman nagsimula noon,” he said. 

On March 31, Densing took a swipe at Robredo, calling her “non-essential” in reference to a viral video where a delivery man was stopped from bringing rice porridge to a customer in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan.

“Essential ang lugaw, tama ‘yon, pero si ‘lugaw,’ non-essential talaga ‘yun sa pananaw namin,” Densing said in an interview with One PH.

Pro-government personalities have been calling the vice president “Leni lugaw,”  in reference to photos of her selling rice porridge to raise campaign funds during the 2016 elections.


For Zarate, statements like Densing’s “lugaw” remark were being used to distract the public from the real issues.

“I think, in fact, sinasadya nila ‘yung mga ganoong mga statements dahil wala na silang maibigay na mga tamang explanation sa mga nangyayari ngayon,” he said.

On April 4, the enhanced community quarantine in the NCR-Plus area was extended for another week because of hospitals overloaded with Covid-19 patients. The Philippines has recorded 819,164 Covid-19 cases, the second highest in Southeast Asia. Ian Gabriel Trinidad