Palace to Duterte’s critics: ‘There’s nothing you can do’

MALACANANG said on Thursday “there’s nothing the public can do” over President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to disappear, saying it was the Chief Executive’s “style.”

Palace spokesman Harry Roque, Jr. FILE PHOTO

Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. made the statement after Duterte admitted that he intentionally stayed away from the public eye last week even as the country battled a surge in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases.

“Wala po kayong magagawa (There’s nothing you can do),” Roque said, when asked to react to those who found the President’s remark inappropriate.

“‘Yun ang paniniwala ng Presidente. Lalo siyang ginigipit, lalo siyang lalaban. So hayaan na po natin ‘yun. Istilo ni Presidente ‘yun. Kani-kaniyang istilo tayo (That’s the President’s stance. The more you criticize him, the more he will fight. Let it be. That’s the President’s style. We have different styles),” he added.

Duterte, in his public address delivered on Monday night, said his recent absence was “intentional” because his critics were asking about his whereabouts.

The President’s address to the nation was canceled last week, fueling concerns about his health.

But the 76-year-old Duterte assured the public that he remained fit to perform his duties as the country’s highest elected official.

Duterte’s last public appearance was on March 29 when he addressed the nation and witnessed the arrival of 1 million doses of government-procured Covid-19 vaccine from Sinovac Biotech.

Meanwhile, Roque said the President was scheduled to deliver a televised public address on Thursday night to tackle several issues he had raised with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a teleconference held on Tuesday.

This will be the second time Duterte will hold a talk to the nation this week after his two-week absence from the public eye.

“Mamaya po, magkakaroon ng talk to the people ang Pangulo (The President will have a talk to the people later),” Roque said.

“Siya na po ang magku-kuwento kung ano ang nangyari sa kanilang usapan ni President Putin (He will discuss what happened during his phone conversation with President Putin),” he added.

On Tuesday, Malacañang said Duterte and Putin had an “open and productive” telesummit, where the two leaders discussed the two nations’ cooperation in the fight against Covid-19, as well as in other fields like defense and cooperation, trade and investments, agriculture, energy, and politics.