By Deighton Acuin

PHOTO: Kiko Pangilinan

Senator Francis Pangilinan said Tuesday that President Rodrigo Duterte should focus on addressing the “poor” coronavirus pandemic response instead of throwing rants against Vice President Leni Robredo.

Pangilinan made this suggestion after Duterte devoted a portion of his weekly national address slamming Robredo.

“He should just focus on addressing the poor [government] response to Covid, rising hunger, and the high prices of food,” Pangilinan said in a message to reporters on Tuesday.

“Solusyon sa gutom ang hinahanap ng taumbayan, ‘yun sana asikasuhin nya,” Pangilinan added.

Duterte — whose government sought for increase of the Philippine’s military aid share provide by United States to $16 billion — recently castigated Senator Panfilo Lacson and Robredo for likening the demand for the continuation of activities under Visiting Forces Agreement as “extortion.”

Duterte said Lacson has “nothing to do with” the case, while he told Robredo that “foreign policies are vested in President alone.”

However, Pangilinan slammed the Chief Executive’s remarks.

“Chief Architect daw ng Foreign Policy kaya walang say si VP o ang Senado… kung ang foreign policy natin sa China ay ‘aw aw aw’ ibig sabihin lahat tayo ‘aw aw aw’ din?” the senator wrote on Twitter, apparently mimicking the sound of a barking dog.

Duterte, who has opted to forge warmer ties with China since he assumed the presidency in 2016, has been repeatedly criticized for setting aside the landmark 2016 arbitral ruling against Beijing’s expansive nine-dash line claim in the South China Sea.

Duterte’s pivot to China was supposedly in exchange for loans and economic aid. His officials described it as a shift to an independent foreign policy and not kowtowing to China.

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