By Deighton Acuin

PHOTO: Philippine Daily Inquirer

It is too early to think about politics as the Philippines is currently grappling with the coronavirus pandemic, Malacañang said Thursday.

In an online briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the statement and sent good-luck wishes to the pro-democracy coalition 1Sambayan, a coalition aiming to form a unified opposition slate in the 2022 national elections.

“Napakaaga pa po para mag-usap nang eleksyon at pulitika. ‘Yan naman po ang aming sinasabi palagi. Isantabi na po muna ang pulitika habang nandito po ang pandemya. Kami po sa administrasyon, gawa muna, pandemya muna bago ang pulitika,” Roque said.

“Hindi pa po panahon sa pulitika. Pero hindi natin po sila mapipigilan. I wish them the best. Good luck to Justice [Antonio] Carpio,” he added.

Despite Roque’s remark that talking politics is too early, President Rodrigo Duterte recently bared that his long-time ally Senator Christopher “Bong” Go wants to become a President which the lawmaker dismissed as joke.

Meanwhile, the President claimed to have discouraged his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, against running for president, and the latter has repeatedly said that she is not interested in following her father’s footsteps. Despite this, posters have sprouted in various places, including in Metro Manila, clamoring for the younger Duterte’s bid to succeed her father in the presidency.

During the coalition launch, Carpio said the “government is really incompetent” and this warrants “better alternative” against Duterte’s so-called “anointed one” in the next elections.

He said that there could have been a better COVID-19 response, but 1Sambayan said the government “wasted precious time and resources with charter change, shutting down mass media, threatening businesses with the cancellation of franchises, threatening the academic freedom of universities, and terrorizing legitimate dissenters with surveillance and arrest.”

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