Opposition congressmen on Friday, Sept. 11 chided presidential spokesman Harry Roque for berating doctors on the controversy surrounding government’s alleged indecisiveness on community quarantine impositions.
Roque was reported to have scolded medical experts for appealing to the government to impose a real Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) that will impose stringent prohibitions on people’s movement in order to arrest the upsurge in COVID-19 cases.
Makabayan Reps. Ferdinand Gaite and Eufemia Cullamat decried Roque’s outburst and his alleged demonstration of disrespect to the medical officers led by Philippine College of Physician president Maricar Limpin.
Gaite and Cullamat demanded Roque’s early resignation from the Cabinet.
The presidential spokesman is expected to step down from his Malacañang job when he files his certificate of candidacy as guest senatorial candidate of the PDP-Laban Cusi wing.
“Between doctors who have more knowledge on how to deal with a pandemic, and a presidential spokesperson and this administration who’s been nothing but “palpak” (failure) in its pandemic response, malinaw naman sinong dapat panigan (it is clear who should be supported),” said Gaite in a statement.
“Lest he forget, it was these medical personnel who have been helping save lives including Roque’s life when he got inflicted with COVID-19. This is what they get in return?,” Gaite stated.
In a separate statement, Cullamat hit Roque’s alleged “arrogance” when he berated the doctors who merely aired their expert opinion and disappointment over the government’s laxity in imposing quarantine categories.
Cullamat noted that the medical experts’ concern over the rising number of COVID-19 cases and deaths were legitimate issues that government must respond to.
Footages of the dialogue between Roque and the medical experts during a meeting of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases showed Limpin in tears begging to government officials to impose a “hard ECQ” as she pointed out that the ECQ imposed early August was lax and failed to get the results of reduced infections hoped for by government and the medical community.
Department of Health reports have indicated that COVID-19 cases have doubled since the hard lockdown imposed by government last month.
Limpin’s observation was shared by many who have expressed their disappointment in social media posts.