Whatever happened to Mr. #KalmaAkoLangTo?
That’s Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque’s favorite hashtag, the one he uses at the end of jokes and witty punchline posts. It literally means, “Be calm, it’s just me.”
But the Palace official absolutely had no chill during a portion of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) meeting Tuesday, Sept. 7, wherein he berated two doctors for supposedly demanding that the govenrment impose a hard enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila instead of the erstwhile planned general community quarantine (GCQ) plus the pilot granular lockdowns.
Roque already explained Friday, Sept. 10 the reason for his outburst and apologized to those he has offended. But netizens did not mince words at all in expressing their disapproval and disgust over the PDP-Laban senatorial candidate’s actuations, which were seen on a leaked video of the meeting.
“You have the audacity to speak up like this??? While you were jetskiing with dolphins, the doctors you now berate were and are still out there trying their best to save lives. Such hypocrisy,” said Facebook user Michelle de Castro.
“Booo! How dare you berate health frontliners. Your wrath should be directed towards govt officials who are mismanaging and even profiting from the pandemic,” Cecille Huidem commented.
Another commenter, Rissa Perez, took exception to Roque’s manner of speaking to the doctors and reminded him and he isn’t a medical frontliner.
“LISTEN. TO. THEM. THEY ARE AT THE FRONTLINES. You are not. Shouting will not distract them nor the people from the issues and the corruption. So be nice, appreciate their concerns. Address the issues. Address corruption – its a deadly disease, its vaccine is transparency,” she wrote.
Lisa Salanga-Sarte seconded this and told Roque, “You are not on the ground exposed to all covid patients ! Those doctors and nurses and all dealing with covid patients are the ones with highest risks !”
Filipinos being Filipinos, some netizens also crowned Roque based on what they saw on the now viral video.
“I hereby petition that we change its title from Presidential Spokesperson to Presidential Shrieking Person. Thank you. You may scroll along,” Wylmer Uy Malicsi said.
“There goes his senatorial bid,” Toby Ng wrote in a rather savage Facebook comment.
“Aww…somebody’s having his period. Whatever you say hefe. Just be reminded where your salary comes from and who are at the frontlines of this pandemic,” Jean Paul said.
On the other hand, Mariel Roño said: “Shame on Harry Roque for lecturing those who are literally in the front line.”
Meanwhile, there are those tried to talk sense into the Palace mouthpiece in calm manner, like what his favorite hashtag would suggest.
“Relax sir. We doctors with all the other allied healthcare workers plus all the other non-medical frontliners are not your enemies here. We are merely asking for a little bit of consideration and help in this battle against covid,” wrote Lani Go-Suva.
“You don’t need to shout at us as if we are trash and useless individuals. Respect begets respect. Stay safe. God bless us all,” Suva said.
Another commenter, Mercy Albano, followed a similar tact, saying, “Sir relax lang , wala kang kaaway (Relax sir, nobody’s quarreling with you). They only expressed their feeling with the surge of pandemics and they are the who exposed much in Covid cases .
“Overworked , stress kaya kailangan ang pahinga (that’s why a break is needed). Show compassion to the health workers. You will see their work when you get sick of covid and hospitalize. Stay safe,” Albano wrote.