PRESIDENTIAL Spokesperson Harry Roque on Friday assured the public that President Rodrigo Duterte is always monitoring the situation and updates on the impact of Typhoon Ulysses.
In a press briefing, Roque said the President uses technology to monitor developments without the need to travel around.
Roque said inquiries regarding President Duterte’s whereabouts in times of crisis and calamities are part of the opposition’s tactics.
“Hindi po dapat tanungin ‘Nasaan ang Pangulo’ — ‘yan po ay kalokohan lang ng oposisyon. Ang Presidente po ay hindi nawawala, palagi po natin siyang kapiling, palagi po niyang iniisip ang kapakanan ng ating mga kababayan,” he said.
The hashtag #NasaanAngPangulo became one of the trending topics on Twitter as Typhoon Ulysses battered several parts of Luzon.
Roque said President Duterte also instructed government agencies to do their best to help those who are vulnerable and in need.
When asked why the President did not preside over the meeting with top government officials, Roque said Duterte has to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit and perform his role as the “chief architect of the country’s foreign policy”.
Despite his hectic schedule due to the ongoing virtual plenary session of the 37th Asean Summit, President Duterte on Thursday conducted an aerial inspection of the areas hit by the typhoon.
Before the aerial inspection, Duterte addressed the nation and assured that the government is on top of the situation.
He said the national government would provide relief, rescue, and assistance to families severely affected by “Ulysses”.
“From the beginning, various government agencies have already been mobilized to respond to the situation on the ground,” Duterte said, renewing his call on all local government units and concerned agencies “to ensure that the well-being and the safety of our people remain the top priority.”
He said nobody would be left behind as the government is ready to address the people’s needs.
“As President, I guarantee you that your government will do its best to provide assistance in the form of shelters, relief goods, financial aid, and post-disaster counseling. Rest assured the government will not leave anybody behind. We will get through this crisis, I assure you,” the President added.
On Thursday morning, Duterte delivered a message during the 37th Asean Summit plenary session but had to temporarily leave the video conference to monitor the typhoon situation and government response.
“We are now suffering in the midst of the storm of Typhoon Ulysses. There is great damage and I may not be around to attend further in this regard for I have to go around and see what I can do for my people,” he said in his speech. Philippine News Agency