Palace slams opposition for "foolishly" asking where was Duterte during calamity
Malacanang said on Friday that President Rodrigo Duterte's whereabouts should not be asked whenever the calamity struck the country.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque apparently felt offended when netizens asked where Duterte was, especially during the height of Super Typhoon "Rolly" and followed by Typhoon "Ulysses" when they did not immediately see him.
Roque even blamed the opposition for allegedly being behind such question, which became a hashtag that trended on Twitter when ''Rolly'' pummeled the country on November 1.
"It should not be asked where the President was. That's a foolishness of the opposition. The President was never absent; he's always with us; he's always thinking of the welfare of our people," said Roque when asked what the President would do during future calamities so that the people would not ask, "Where is the President?" during the televised briefing of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council meeting.
Roque presided over the NDRRMC meeting.
"Opposition, stop it. Because if you are going to compare the casualties of the other administrations with the casualties now, the (number) of casualties now is very small although our aim is still zero casualty," he said.
Roque stressed that Duterte has always been monitoring the situation using the technology.
"This time of technology, he can know what is going on in different parts of the Philippines," he said.
With the Operations Center of the NDRRMC, he said there is no need for Duterte to go around and visit those areas devastated by the disasters.
Roque said what is important is that the President is always reminding all the agencies and departments of the government, especially the Cabinet response cluster committee on how to address the needs of the people.
After almost two weeks since ''Rolly'' wrought havoc in some parts of the country, particularly in Bicol Region, ''Ulysses'', on Thursday whipped again most parts of Luzon, including Metro Manila.
As early as Thursday, people were asking where Duterte was.
But the Palace said Duterte was attending the opening of the 37th Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit and Related Summits via a video conference.
But later in the day, Duterte made a televised message and assured the typhoon-affected Filipinos that the government is on top of the situation. Celerina Monte/DMS