Palace asks public: Avoid calling out quarantine ‘violations’

Published January 28, 2021, 4:01 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Malacañang asked the public to be more circumspect before commenting on photos of alleged COVID-19 quarantine violations, assuring them that the law is being implemented equally to all.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after Baguio City Benjamin Magalong and celebrity Tim Yap drew flak for a party in the city that supposedly violated strict mass gathering protocols.

In his Thursday presser, Roque advised the public to look at all factors first before accusing the government of letting rich people and government officials off the hook for violating quarantine measures.

“Always distinguish between GCQ (general community quarantine) and MGCQ (modified general community quarantine),” he said.

Baguio City, along with most parts of the country, is under the MGCQ. Under the MGCQ, mass gatherings of up to 50 percent of the venue capacity are allowed.

Meanwhile, Roque said that the government is not favoring anyone when it comes to the law.

“Pagdating sa pagpapatupad ng protocols, wala po tayong kinikilala (We do not recognize anyone when we are implementing the protocols),” he said.

“Mayaman, mahirap, lalaki o babae o kung ano mang kasarian. Kailangan po ‘yang ipatupad (Whether you are rich, poor, a man or a woman, or what gender, we need to implement the law),” he added.

Roque is one of the government officials who are accused of violating quarantine measures. He first drew flak for visiting a marine adventure park in July 2020.

Filipinos online criticized him after he was videotaped in a karaoke session while parts of the country were experiencing the effects of the typhoons. He was also slammed for speaking before a huge crowd in Bantayan, Cebu that totally disregarded physical distancing.

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Debold Sinas also came under fire for breaking quarantine protocols when they held a mañanita for his birthday in May last year.