Duterte on COVID-19 response: ‘Mechanical act,’ not ‘study of medicine’

By Elyjah Rosales

PHOTO: Presidential Communications

President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday undermined his critics’ ‘serbisyong medikal, hindi militar,’ mantra by claiming that handling the pandemic is more of a ‘mechanical act’ than a ‘study of medicine.’

In his pre-recorded televised briefing, Duterte even related the procurement to a ‘transaction in business,’ as he defended his inclination with the ‘military’ and what the opposition referred to as a ‘militarization.’

The president, who was trending as #DutertePalpak hashtag a few days ago, explained that this is why he opted to go for Army general and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff Carlito Galvez Jr., as the head of the COVID-19 combat.

“You need not be a doctor here because you are transacting a business. It is not really a matter of medical science you are talking of,” furthered Duterte.

Galvez currently sits as the vaccine czar apart from leading the National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF).

To date, the retired general is also joined by other military personnel such as NTF chairperson Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and contact tracing head Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong.




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