Senate President Vicente Sotto III insisted that the Filipinos’ stubbornness continues to be the cause of increase of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines, pushing the country to be among the top 20 nations with the most number of coronavirus infections.
The Philippines ranked 20th in the Johns Hopkins University and Medicine’s virus tracker with 319,330 COVID-19 cases as of October 3. The United States topped the list with over 7.3 million cases.
Asked about this in a radio interview, Sotto said he does not believe that the government’s COVID-19 response is to solely to blame for this.
“Katulad ng ibang nasa top 20, puro tayo mga medyo matindi ang democratic processes na kaunting may ano, ayaw. Marami tayong mga ganoon, eh. Itong mga bansa na mabilis na nawala ang problema katulad ng Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, mabilis silang naka-ano, kasi parang martial law doon, strong arm law doon…Lumabas ka, kulong ka, baka saktan ka pa (Like other countries in the top 20, we have strong democratic processes, that one simple order will be opposed. We have people like that. Look at those countries that quickly recovered from the problem like Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, they easily addressed this, because it’s like martial law, they have strong arm laws. Go out and you will be jailed, they might even hurt you),” Sotto told radio DWIZ.
“Hindi pwede rito. Naku, eh ‘di nagwawala ang human rights dito. Kaya madali rin tayong mahawa, kasi maraming matigas ang ulo (We can’t do that here. If we did, then human rights advocates will be up in arms. That’s why we easily get infected, too, because many people are stubborn),” he added.
“‘Yong sa atin, katigasan lang ng ulo natin ‘yon. Hindi lahat ha? Marami sa atin talagang sumusunod. Nakita mo, hindi nadadale ‘yong mga sumusunod, hindi ba (In our case, it’s just hard-headedness. Not everyone, because many still are complying with our health protocols. You see, those who obey are not getting infected),” he said.
He continued: “104,700,000 Filipinos ang sumusunod. May 300,000 na hindi sumunod. Iyon ‘yong nadale.”
Sotto also reiterated his appeal that the government changes the manner of reporting the country’s COVID-19 situation.
He said the Department of Health (DOH) should highlight the number of active COVID-19 cases, and those who recovered, instead of the total infections recorded in the country since the onset of the pandemic.
“That is looking at the glass half-empty instead of looking at it half-full,” he said.
Of the total number of cases in the Philippines as of Saturday, October 3, 58,606 are active cases while 255,046 have recovered. Deaths have reached a total of 5,678.