University of the Philippines professor Randy David said President Rodrigo Duterte was out of character when he admitted to being desperate in his second weekly report on the coronavirus response.
“It is the first time I have heard President Duterte sound helpless before a problem. He confessed to getting up at three in the morning, staring at the dark void before him,” said David in his Inquirer column.
After assuring Pinoys the government had sufficient funds to feed them when he announced the enhanced community quarantine on March 17, Duterte admitted that his funds might not be enough with the middle-class and business owners demanding to be included in government dole outs. support the “poorest of the poor,” let alone assist the slightly better off who are fast using up their meager savings.
“I can only imagine how difficult it must be for Mr. Duterte to moderate his default rhetorical swagger. I could see him struggling to contain the virus of narcissism and arrogance that seems to prod him to pontificate on every issue that fancies him,” said David.
Instead of acting like his normal, can-do-it-all macho self, David advised Duterte to take a more humble track and allow the experts to take charge of briefing the country on the coronavirus.
“This is a man who obviously thinks a president must know everything. If I were in his place, I would say only a few heartfelt words, if at all — and mainly to comfort the nation. I would confine myself to speaking about the fundamental uncertainty that faces all of humanity at this time, the fear that strikes deep in the heart of every person, and the hope and inspiration we must draw from the countless examples of generosity, compassion, selflessness, and creativity,” he said. “I would then quickly step aside, and let those with adequate knowledge explain the situation and the road ahead, and clearly tell us what we must do to overcome the complex challenges we face,” he added.