President Rodrigo Duterte’s press conference last night, November 17 went viral for his threats and false claims against Vice President Leni Robredo, leading to various Twitter trends in the country: #DuterteMeltdown, #NasiraanAngPangulo, #NaasarAngPangulo, #NasaPusoKoAngPangulo, #NasaPusonKoAngPangulo, and “Leni.”
Accusing Robredo of starting the #NasaanAngPangulo tag, Duterte slammed the former, who has been lauded by netizens for her typhoon relief efforts. She was one of the first officials to extend help to the victims in flood-hit Cagayan. She went to the province ahead of the President, who has been criticized for his lack of presence at that time.
Vice President Leni Robredo visited Cagayan Valley on Sunday morning to distribute relief assistance and assess the situation in the area. (Photos from OVP) pic.twitter.com/7iXsX84aY6— The Philippine Star (@PhilippineStar) November 15, 2020
“I would like to just give a caution to the vice president. She made a blunder, a big one, and she practically lied, making her incapable of truth,” he claimed. “Alam mo, ‘yung pakana niya na wala ako sa bagyo. I was here, dito. I was attending a summit, ASEAN Summit ‘yun, so virtual lang, palit palit kami. We were talking electronic. Nandito ako noon, kasagsagan ng bagyo, dumaan diyan sa labas, nag-uusap kami dito.”
In a series of tweets, the VP has fired back over his allegations, calling them “fake news.”
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.— Leni Robredo (@lenirobredo) November 17, 2020
She added, "There is no space for our ego when lives at are stake."
Pinapasa namin yung lahat na distress calls sa lahat na puwede namin ma contact on the ground - AFP, PNP, everyone we can get hold of. Buhay ng ating mga kababayan ang nakataya. There is no space for our ego when lives at are stake.— Leni Robredo (@lenirobredo) November 17, 2020
She also stressed that extending a hand during a calamity is not a race. “Hindi tayo nag-uunahan. Lahat tayo dapat nagtutulong tulong para sa ating mga kababayan.”
Sa panahon ng matinding sakuna, dapat lahat na tulong, welcome. Hindi ito contest. Hindi tayo nag uunahan. Lahat tayo dapat nagtutulong tulong para sa ating mga kababayan.— Leni Robredo (@lenirobredo) November 17, 2020
It can be recalled that she has said the same thing in a previous media interview. “Hindi naman iyon unahan. Maganda nga na parang nagse-spread out din kami ng—kasi hindi lang kami ni Presidente pero pati iyong ibang government officials,” she explained.
As of this writing, the number one hashtag trend in the Philippines is #NasiraanAngPangulo with over 21,900 tweets, followed by the #DuterteMeltdown with over 69,600 tweets. “Leni” is also trending at number nine (9). Other trends included #NaasarAngPangulo and #OUSTDUTERTE.
For a netizen, Duterte's "emotional breakdown" was "not for sympathy to his fellow men but for his insecurities toward the working woman."
— Engr. Enric Grullo (@EngrERGrullo) November 17, 2020
This was how a Twitter user summarized Duterte's presscon last night:
Another one shared a video of how he thinks Duterte and Senator Bong Go might have acted "when they saw her (Robredo) enter the group chat with action plans."
A netizen showed clips of Robredo with the song "H*es Mad" in the background.
Another user said she will campaign for Robredo if she decides to run at the 2022 elections.
Friendly reminder that you do not owe government elected officials anything.— ☀han☀ (@discounttomie) November 17, 2020
Pro-Duterte netizens later clapped back at the viral Twitter hashtags by starting their own: #NasaPusoKoAngPangulo.
While he has never seen the President in person, a netizen declared he "has seen him as a person."
Another netizen expressed his gratitude and appreciation for the President's "sacrifices" for his kababayans.
President Rodrigo Roa #Duterte, you are loved, valued, and appreciated. We are truly grateful for your sacrifices. THANK YOU SO MUCH Tatay Digong. WE LOVE YOU ???#NasaPusoKoAngPangulo@RRD_Davao pic.twitter.com/jenWBBsBmo— PH News (@PHNews01) November 17, 2020
A social media user posted a photo of the President with kids, saying "Those are genuine smiles and not a product of some photo op."
Using his K-pop fan account, a Twitter user said he firmly stands by the President despite the backlash the latter has been getting.
[Not Kpop Related]— Bang ChanDam (@BangChandam) November 17, 2020
I AM A FILIPINO, THIS IS MY PRESIDENT AND I SUPPORT HIS ADMINISTRATION AND THE GOVERNMENT. THE BEST PRESIDENT WE EVER HAVE! I LOVE YOU TATAY DIGONG! #NasaPusoKoAngPangulo pic.twitter.com/uLUBHoWcDe
"To the man who’s fighting tirelessly for us Filipinos. We love you & we will always stand by you, President Duterte," another user tweeted.
Article thumbnails taken from the Office of the President of the Philippines' official website