House opposition leader hits Roque for ‘year-long vacation’ remark

Published March 3, 2021, 12:49 PM

by Ben Rosario

Assistant Minority Leader and Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Arlene Brosas on Wednesday, March 3, chided Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque for describing as a ‘year-long vacation’ the community quarantine Filipinos have to endure due to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) threat.

Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas

Brosas said Roque’s statement is “insensitive and downright offensive” to all Filipinos, including the many who lost their jobs or lost their loved ones due to the pandemic.

“Para sa Malacañang, ang isang taong pandemya ay isang bakasyon lamang habang para sa mahihirap, ito ay isang walang hanggang bangungot dulot ng kawalan ng ayuda at kabuhayan. (To Malacanang, the one year pandemic is just a vacation but to the poor this is an endless nightmare brought about by the lack of aid and livelihood),” said Brosas.

In a recent online media briefing. Roque defended President Duterte’s order for special working holidays for 2021, saying that these usually special non-working holidays are meant to “recover for lost time”. He said the country already had nearly a year-long ‘vacation’ as a result of the pandemic.

On the other hand, the Makabayan bloc to which Brosas belongs has called on Duterte to reconsider his decision.

Brosas said individuals enjoying Roque’s description of a vacation are those close to Malacanang.

“Tama nga siguro ang sinabi ni Senator Bato dela Rosa: masarap nga talaga ang buhay ng mga malalapit sa presidente. (Senator Bato de la Rosa could be right in saying that life is enjoyable for those close to the president.),” Brosas said.

“Walang bakasyon para sa mga nanay sa komunidad na hindi na matapos kakaisip kung anong ipapakain sa kanilang mga anak sa gitna ng nagtataasang presyo ng bilihin. Walang bakasyon para sa mga manggagawang wala na ngang kasiguraduhan sa trabaho, kakarampot pa ang kinikita. (Mothers in communities who worry so much about what to feed her children amid rising prices of goods never enjoyed any vacation. Workers not assured of work or have little earnings never had any vacation.)” she stressed.

Brosas said that instead accusing Filipinos of lying idle or having leisurely time during the pandemic, President Duterte and his men should stop going on holiday.

“Tigilan nila ang paglangoy kasama ang mga dolphin habang may community quarantine. (They should stop swimming with dolphins while community quarantine is being observed.),” the opposition lawmaker stated.