Malacañang reminds gov't officials to always follow security protocol

By Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Malacañang advised government officials to learn from the examples of President Duterte, reminding them to always comply with security checks when in airports.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque (RESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN) Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque made the statement after Congressman John Bertiz figured in a controversy when the latter allegedly refused to remove his shoes during a security check at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

In his Palace press briefing, Roque refused to comment on Bertiz's controversy and said he would rather wait for the investigation of the NAIA to finish before issuing a statement.

"I would rather wait hanggang matapos ang imbestigasyon because right now hindi pa po natin alam ang pangyayari (until the investigation finishes because we still don't know what really happened)," he said.

"We will issue a statement siguro (perhaps) when we have received the investigation report from NAIA. For now, let us defer any statement and any judgment on the incident," he added.

Roque, however, reminded all government officials to not seek special treatment.

"Ako lang (To me), let's learn by way of example from what the President is doing. Hindi po humihingi ng special treatment ang Presidente (The President does not ask for special treatment)," he said.

"The President really insists, even if he is a convoy, even to follow traffic rules and traffic lights. So kung ganito po ang Presidente, sana lahat po ng opisyales ng bayan ay sumunod na rin po sa ganitong ehemplo (So if the President is like this, we hope that all officials of this country will follow this kind of example)," he added.

Roque also addressed the claims of President Duterte's critics that the incident is a reflection of Duterte's leadership and influence to his supporters and allies.

"Kalokohan po 'yan. Dahil ako po kaalyado ni Presidente, halos araw-araw eh nag-e-airport ako, ako po ay sumusunod sa security requirements ng NAIA (That's nonsense. I am an ally of the President who is at the airport almost everyday but I follow the security requirements)," he said.

"Ano lang po 'yan, katunayan na wala na silang mabatong issue. Kasi umakyat na naman ang ratings ni Presidente to "Very Good". Akala nila nagtagumpay na sila na sumadasad na ang ratings. Sorry na lang po sila (In reality, they can't find any issue against the President anymore. His ratings returned to "Very Good again. They thought they succeeded when his ratings dropped. Sorry to them)," he added.

Roque was referring to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey which showed that 70 percent of Filipinos said they were satisfied with Duterte's performance. The said rating is a five-point increase from Duterte's rating during the second quarter of 2018.

Meanwhile, Special Assistant to the President Christopher Go, whose name was dragged into the controversy, said officials are elected to serve the people

"Andito tayo sa gobyerno para magsilbi sa kapwa at hindi pagsilbihan o mabigyan ng (We are here in government to serve the people and not to be served or be given) special treatment," he said in a statement.

"Maging leksyon sana ito sa lahat ng nasa gobyerno. Importante ang disiplina para umunlad (Let this be a lesson to everyone in government. Discipline is important for the improvement of the country)," he added.

Read more: Video of solon at airport goes viralBertiz questions release of airport footage gone viralBatocabe leaves Bertiz's fate to Ethics panel