By Addison Pascua


Malacañang said Tuesday that there is no problem with President Rodrigo Duterte’s weekly addresses intended to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic airing during wee hours, a time when the majority of the people are asleep.

In a press briefing, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the late-night broadcast of Duterte’s public address is not a wrong policy emphasizing that the public can still watch the replay the next morning.

“Wala namang problema maski ma-ere siya ng gabi kasi kinabukasan nire-replay ’yan ng PTV-4. So ‘yong mga hindi makakapanood ng gabi, makakapanood po the following morning,” Roque said.

Dubbed as the “Talk to the People on COVID-19,” Duterte’s weekly speeches started when the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year wherein cabinet officials are required to report an update about the government’s efforts in addressing the health crisis in their respective departments. Duterte, however, has used such addresses to attack his critics and political rivals.

On Monday, August 16, Duterte’s weekly address began airing close to midnight and ended at around 2:30 in the morning.

Duterte in Monday’s speech lambasted the Commission on Audit (COA) for flagging various deficiencies in the health department’s management of more than P67 billion amount of funds meant for COVID-19 response. 

“I am not criticizing anybody, especially itong COA. But I’ve been mayor. . . . May mga project tayo, backlog y’ong project. So ngayon, mayroon talaga ’yang mga papel-papel na hindi masyadong nakumpleto, y’ong the completion sa paperwork,” he said.

During the same address, Duterte also discouraged Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III to resign following the findings of state auditors in the health department.

Duterte said late last year that his day usually starts at 2:00 p.m. because he has always been a night person.

Report sources: ABS-CBN News, CNN Philippines