Roque's 'better Christmas remark' confirms use of vaccine rollout in 2022 campaign- Hontiveros

Published May 18, 2021, 5:18 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

A Palace official’s claim that administration candidates will have sheer advantage in the upcoming May 2022 elections affirms the opposition’s belief that the Duterte administration would be using the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines for their own political agenda.

“Mukhang ginagamit at dini-delay ng administrasyon ang vaccination program para sa 2022 campaign nila (the administration seems to be using and delaying the vaccination program for their 2022 campaign),” opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros said in a statement.

“The vaccine is meant to save lives, not buy votes. Hindi laro ang buhay ng taumbayan. Hirap at gutom ang mga tao, bakit pamumulitika ang patuloy na pinapakain sa kanila (the lives of our people are no joke. The people are already poor and hungry, why do they have to pursue politics)?” Hontiveros lamented.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque has claimed that achieving a “better Christmas” would pose a problem for opposition candidates in next year’s polls because of the government’s COVID-19 vaccination program.

“If the candidates of the administration have an advantage, it’s because first, there is a pandemic; second, they can see that the government has done everything; third, it will really depend on the vaccine rollout,” Roque claimed.

“But I think we would achieve the better Christmas and that’s the problem of the opposition,” he added.

Roque was reacting to a statement of 1Sambayan convenor Bro. Armin Luistro who claimed that opposition candidates remain hesitant to run in 2022.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has been planning to hold separate schedules for the filing of certificates of candidacy (COCs) for the May 2022 national and local polls to prevent the spread of the COVID-19.

Hontiveros said Roque’s remark does not bode well, not only for the opposition, but to the whole citizenry.

“A ‘better Christmas’ should not be for opposition or administration candidates, but for the Filipino people. Get back to work,” she said.