MANILA – Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar on Thursday slammed critics who are politicking ahead of the 2022 local and national elections by using the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic against the Duterte administration.
Andanar lamented that several senators are questioning the government’s pandemic response efforts.
“We are dismayed by the recent comments that describe the government’s proactive responses to contain the recent surge of Covid-19 as lacking in leadership,” Andanar said in a statement.
He was reacting to the recent remarks of Senators Maria Imelda Josefa “Imee” Marcos, Panfilo Lacson, and Nancy Binay against the government’s way of handling the pandemic.
On Monday, Lacson blasted the supposedly “autopilot” response against Covid-19.
Andanar was dismayed that Lacson is belittling the expertise of those in the recommendatory and implementing bodies “who have put in hard work and dedication to address the health issue since day one”.
“These are people, experts in their field, who base their decision on data and information,” he said.
Andanar also hit Binay for using the term “ningas cogon” and Marcos for saying that the country endured “one horrific year” of the pandemic.
He said Binay and Marcos’ statements “reflect a faulty understanding or bailiwick-driven politics.”
“Not only do these statements disregard the hard work and sacrifice of our medical front-liners and government officials, but they are also an unnecessary form of politicking and electioneering at a time when we should be focusing on addressing the surge in cases,” Andanar said.
Open to ‘concrete, actionable’ suggestions
Andanar expressed disappointment over the “recycled and counterproductive” criticisms that “do not benefit anyone else, other than individuals with planned political endeavors”.
He told critics that the current surge in Covid-19 cases is driven by the new variants of the coronavirus which are more contagious.
He added that other countries are also experiencing a sudden spike in Covid-19 infections.
Andanar, nevertheless, said the government is open to “concrete” and “actionable” suggestions.
“The Duterte administration remains open and receptive to concrete discussions of specific and actionable suggestions to address the recent surge we are experiencing,” Andanar said.
‘Ceaseless’ fight vs. Covid-19
Andanar assured the public that the government is doing its best to contain the spread of Covid-19.
Amid the rising Covid-19 cases in the country, Andanar said the Duterte administration remains “ceaseless” in intensifying targeted testing and vaccine inoculation.
‘Furthermore, it has worked non-stop at increasing our treatment and management facilities, allocating more personal protective equipment for our front-liners, and building and repurposing facilities to accommodate patients, such as the recent opening of the Quezon Institute Off-site Modular Hospital, among others,” he said.
Andanar also said the “efficient and effective” service of the government and medical front-liners continues for the country’s recovery from the pandemic.
“We remind everyone to continue to observe the minimum health protocols of wearing of face mask and shield, safe physical distancing, and proper hygiene, among others, and ensure that we all do our part in minimizing the surge of the virus,” he said. (PNA)