From the News: Marcos slams Duterte government’s slow response to COVID-19 crisis

Pinuna ni Senator Imee Marcos si Pangulong Duterte dahil sa mabagal na aksyon nito.

Is this the real life? Marcos slams Duterte government’s slow response to COVID-19 crisis-Yahoo News

Senator Imee Marcos is going viral in the Twitter-verse today after she did the unthinkable: that is, criticizing the government for its slow response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Imee’s action was surprising given her record of unwavering support for President Rodrigo Duterte, particularly when he ran for the presidency in 2016. And the love apparently goes both ways, with Duterte claiming that there was no evidence that the Marcoses had stolen billions of pesos from the country’s coffers during their time in power (FYI: they have been convicted).

What with the long history of mutual coziness, Imee’s takedown of the Duterte administration has taken a lot of netizens by surprise.

Here’s what she said in her vlog, snippets of which have been widely shared:

“This is not the time to be stingy. [The government] should help the people unceasingly. Do it now, please. Stop with all these emergencies. These emergency powers are just scaring people. You can’t blame them when they can’t see that they’re being given food, medicines, testing kits.”

The senator was clearly referring to Duterte and the emergency powers that were given to him by Congress early last week, which the government insisted were necessary to solve the COVID-19 crisis. She also alluded to the hardships faced by ordinary Filipinos, many of whom have been left unemployed and hungry by the government’s month long Luzon lockdown. Countless Filipinos now have to rely on their respective mayors for food and water.

Showing a document titled “Two-week Rice Supply in Metro Manila,” Marcos continued,

“Let’s help them, look here’s the proof that there’s a lot of rice… So the NFA [National Food Authority] shouldn’t worry. They have PHP8 billion (US$156.830 million) in their budget. Then last year, they have an excess budget that amounted to billions.”

“Then the Department of Agriculture has PHP1.5 billion (US$29.405 million) in your budget. Use that. Use that so people don’t feel tense over where they should get their food. And hello, Customs, you have so many fishes [hidden in your warehouse]. Give that away or else they’ll rot.”
“And you smugglers, it’s not a secret who you are, and it’s not a secret what’s inside your warehouse. You should donate that. Now’s the time. You should change and be honest once and for all,”

Imee added.

Netizens gleefully pointed out that while they appreciated the senator’s criticism of the government.


Coronavirus: First death outside China reported in Philippines-BBC NEWS

A man has died of the coronavirus in the Philippines, the first confirmed fatality outside China.

The patient was a 44-year-old Chinese man from Wuhan, in Hubei province, where the virus was first detected.

He appeared to have been infected before arriving in the Philippines, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.

What do we know about this death?

The man travelled to the Philippines from Wuhan, via Hong Kong, with a 38-year-old Chinese woman who also tested positive last week, the Philippines Department of Health said.

Officials said he was admitted to a hospital in the capital, Manila, where he developed severe pneumonia.

The man is thought to have had other pre-existing health conditions.


Related Article:

Then:PH COVID19 Ground Zero March6,2020 1st Case; Now:57 Million Filipinos in Luzon Lockdown

Duterte not keen on banning travel to China amid coronavirus scare-CNN Jan.29,2020 Philippines records its first local case of coronavirus-CNN March 6,2020 Philippines ignored neighbors' lessons on how to tackle coronavirus-Nikkei Mar.18,2020 Duterte orders Luzon-wide 'enhanced community quarantine'-MSN News Mar 17,2020 Coronavirus: Philippines quarantines island of 57 million people-Aljazeera Mar.17,2020

DOH recommends declaration of public health emergency after COVID-19 local transmission-GMA NEWS

The Department of Health (DOH) said Saturday it has recommended to President Rodrigo Duterte the declaration of public health emergency in light of the confirmation of the first case of local transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the country.

"The DOH confirms that the previously reported fifth case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) as the first case of local transmission in the country after verification from the Bureau of Immigration showed that the patient had no recent travel history," Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a press conference.

In light of the confirmation of COVID-19's localized transmission in the country, Duque said the DOH has raised its alert to Code Red Sub-Level 1.

"With this Code Red, the DOH has recommended to the Office of the President for the declaration of Public Health Emergency which will facilitate mobilization of resources and ease processes, including procurement of critical logistics and supplies and intensifying reporting and quarantine measures," the Health chief said.

The raising of Code Red, Duque said, is a "preemptive call" for both the national government and local governments as well as public and private health care providers to prepare for possible increase in suspected and confirmed cases.

The DOH also confirmed on Saturday that the number of COVID-19 cases in the country has risen to six.

The latest case is the wife of a patient previously confirmed to have tested positive for COVID-19 who had no recent travel history, Duque said. —KG, GMA News

This article DOH recommends declaration of public health emergency after COVID-19 local transmission was originally published in GMA News Online.


Philippines declares public health emergency, sets ‘no-touch’ rule on Duterte, as coronavirus cases rise to 20-SCMP NEWS ASIA

  • The declaration enables the Philippines to launch a whole-of-government effort to handle the widening coronavirus outbreak

  • Meanwhile, people have been warned to avoid contact with Duterte, a leader who enjoys being surrounded by crowds and often hugs citizens

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday declared a “state of public health emergency” over the Philippines’ widening coronavirus outbreak , prompting his security team to impose a “no-touch” policy on him, as the number of infections rose to 20.

Health assistant secretary Rosario Vergeire on Monday said “intensified surveillance” was the reason the country saw a spike of 15 new infections over a span of four days.

According to the Presidential Proclamation 922, the Covid-19 outbreak “constitutes an emergency that threatens national security which requires a whole-of-government response”.

The declaration would enable the government, with the aid of the police and other national agencies, to “enforce quarantine and disease control prevention measures”, as well as “capacitate” local government units to prevent loss of lives and “contain or prevent the spread of Covid-19”.

The move came two weeks after Health Secretary Francisco Duque wrote to Duterte’s chief aide, Salvador Medialdea, to advise the palace to issue such a declaration “in the event of local transmission” to ease procurement processes and access to funding, and enable authorities to impose community lockdowns and travel restrictions.

The first case of local transmission – a 62-year-old man with no recent history of overseas travel – was confirmed last Friday, prompting Duque to raise the alert to “Code Red Sublevel 1” – the step before a “community quarantine” or lockdown is imposed. The patient’s wife later also tested positive.

Colonel Jesus Durante, the commander of the Presidential Security Guard (PSG), told media that politicians, reporters and other visitors meeting Duterte and his family would be “thoroughly screened” before being granted close access. The president’s speaking engagements “could be cancelled”, he added.

“Specifically, PSG will implement a no-touch policy between Duterte and the public,” Durante said.


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