MANILA, Aug 4 (Mabuhay)– Senator Panfilo Lacson on Monday said frustration can be an expected emotional response from the medical frontliners who got castigated by President Rodrigo Duterte after publicly airing their request for a “time out.”

“Kung sa kanila I heard libo ang tine-treat daily at exposed na exposed at maraming namatay sa kanila. So emotions are high. I would like to think na may frustration talaga dahil sa halip na pakinggan intently ang kanilang sinasabi para ma-improve ang situation, parang may halo pang pananakot,” Lacson told reporters in a virtual interview.

“Hindi naman sila dumadaing para magpahinga sila. Ang malinaw na hinihingi nila, teka muna, i-survey muna uli natin ang situation tingnan natin paano ma-improve,” he added.

On Sunday night, Duterte lashed out at health workers for making a public statement instead of just writing a letter to the concerned authorities.

“Do not try to demean government. You are not actually criticizing. You demean my government, your own government… Next time you can just ask for an audience pero wag po kayong magsigaw-sigaw, rebolusyon,” he said.

“I don’t give a f…if you gather one thousand, two thousand, but bear in mind na kayo mismo ipa-take over ko…tingnan ko kung ano ang lagay ninyo. We are not incompetents here because we are not doctors. Kayo dapat ang…You should do the soul-searching. Kayo ang makatulong sana at wala kayong ginagawa, puro magreklamo…what can I do? I have always been praying to God for a vaccine,” he added.

Senator Leila De Lima reminded Duterte that it is the frontliners’ right to express their grievances amid the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the Philippine College of Physicians said its request to place Metro Manila under an enhanced community quarantine was neither a threat nor a call for revolt.

“We were taken aback and surprised when you highlighted in your address to the nation last night that we are indispensable but not irreplaceable so we beg your indulgence and allow us to rectify this impression,” PCP president Dr. Mario Panaligan told Duterte in a letter posted on Facebook.

“If you closely review the virtual conference on August 1, there was never a call for a revolt nor was there any threat of leaving patients on their own since our oath instructs us to first do no harm to anyone who needs our help,” he added.

Before ranting against the health workers’ move, Duterte approved the reimposition of a modified ECQ in Metro Manila and nearby areas from August 4 to 18.

The Palace, meanwhile, linked Duterte’s challenge to health workers to stage a “revolution” against the government to a song from the musical Les Misérables that is popular among his critics. (MNS)

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