After announcing that he was under isolation due to exposure to a coronavirus (COVID-19) patient, Presidential spokesman Harry Roque was actually vacationing in Boracay over the weekend, Filipinos online pointed out.
On Saturday, DiveGurus Boracay, a self-proclaimed premier boutique dive shop on the pristine island, posted on its Facebook page photos and videos of Roque’s weekend getaway including one in the dive site Friday’s Reef.
Boracay Island News Network also posted on Facebook that Roque was spotted on the island on Saturday.
It was, however, unclear if Roque’s visit was for work or leisure.
Roque is yet to clarify his supposed trip to Boracay.
Filipino netizens, meanwhile, blasted Roque and accused him of lying about him being in isolation.
This was not the first time the Palace official was criticized for a supposed leisure trip during the pandemic. In July 2020, while most parts of the country were still on lockdown, photos of Roque enjoying the company of dolphins in a resort in Subic surfaced.
Roque defended his trip to the said report, saying it was not for leisure but a “side trip” when he went to check his wine business and to distribute personal protective equipment to a hospital.
He further explained that he was an authorized person out of residence (APOR) and that he hails from Bataan. He added that he made the visit to the resort because it was the province’s first day under the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), the least strict quarantine classification.
Despite his reasons, Roque apologized to the public, noting that his visit may have offended people.