In a televised pre-recorded address on Tuesday night, President Rodrigo Duterte used the first 20 minutes or so to rant about Vice President Leni Robredo, who also received sexist and misogynistic remarks from the President. The address, meant for the public to be informed about the state of the country after a series of typhoons and the declaration of a state of calamity in Luzon (while also battling a pandemic, that is), turned into what netizens dubbed a #DuterteMeltdown.
The hashtag, accompanied by another one saying #NasiraanAngPangulo, trended on Twitter last night, November 17, until today, as netizens who watched the address said that the rants made by Duterte showed that he sees the Vice President as competition and his insecurities were showing.
But what angered the netizens more than the President’s seemingly endless rant about VP Robredo is that he also pronounced false claims against the Vice President and threatened students who were calling for an academic break. (Read: #TayoNaman Trends, Encourages Younger Generation To Register For 2022 PH Elections)
My Pope Philippines lists some of the President’s alleged false pronouncements that made netizens burst in anger and trend the hashtags #DuterteMeltdown and #NasiraanAngPangulo.
#DuterteMeltdown: “Walang ginawa [si Leni] except ‘yung mga tawag-tawag.”
Duterte claimed that Robredo didn’t do anything for typhoon response except make calls to concerned agencies. Indeed, VP Robredo called the proper authorities, like the Army, Airforce, and Navy, who were capable of rescuing those who are trapped in their flooded communities in Cagayan and Isabela. BUT it’s not the only thing that the second-highest official did for the typhoon victims.
The Office of the Vice President (OVP) partnered with legitimate organizations to raise funds for donations and relief goods for the victims of the recent typhoons. They also visited communities who were struck heavily by the typhoon, and even fed those in evacuation centers with lugaw so evacuees can eat properly.
VP Robredo’s office was also able to give out face mask, sanitizers, and other hygiene essentials for the victims to also help them with the on-going pandemic. In fact, you may still donate whether in-kind or monetary to Kaya Natin PH, the OVP’s partner organization. (Read: The World’s Reactions to Duterte’s Anti-Terror Law)
The Vice President also denied the accusation that she was the one who started the #NasaanAngPangulo trend. “I just called out Sec Panelo for peddling fake news. I am also calling out whoever peddled the fake news to the President, kaya ganito siya ka pikon. I never said “Where is the President”? You can review all my tweets,” Robredo said in a tweet.
#DuterteMeltdown: “Walang ginawa itong [UP] kung ‘di mag-recruit ng komunista”
The president threatened to stop funding the University of the Philippines if the students wouldn’t stop calling for an academic break. The call for academic break has been continuously fought for by students since online classes posed new learning issues that affect many—lack of proper equipment, unstable internet, and the like.
The typhoons also added to the problem as some students were also heavily affected and the lack of electricity would also mean they wouldn’t be able to attend classes and submit requirements. (Read: Timeline: What Prompted Duterte’s Threat to Stop Facebook PH?)
But aside from the academic break, Duterte also criticized the university for allegedly recruiting communists and terrorists. “Walang ginawa itong ano kung ‘di mag-recruit ng komunista diyan. Tapos nag-aaral kayo, ang gusto ninyong binibira ang gobyerno,” he said.
UP Vice President for Public Affairs already denied this false accusation from the president by saying, “The UP is an educational institution. One of the university’s core mission is knowledge and innovation creation, production, and dissemination, using various approaches of knowledge transfer. The University does not recruit for the communists, that is not our mission.”