Please don’t get coronavirus disease (COVID-19) news or updates from “Marites”.
Cabinet Secretary and Acting Presidential Spokesperson Karlo Nograles made this appeal Tuesday, Jan. 25 as he–for the nth time–tried to dispell misleading information about COVID-19 that’s being spread by some quarters.
“Makinig po tayo sa mga medical expert, hindi sa mga Marites; ipasa po natin ang mga update mula sa lehitimong media at government channels, hindi ang tsismis mula sa kung sinu-sino (Let’s listen to medical experts, not to Marites; let’s pass on updates from legitimate media and government channels, not gossip from random people),” Nograles said in a virtual press conference.
“Marites” is the Generation Z term for “gossip-monger”, although it has also been equated to the stateside “Karen”.
“Matagal na po nating sinabi (We’ve been saying this for a long time): Information is power and accurate information regarding COVID-19 gives us the power to take the necessary measures to protect ourselves against this virus,” the Palace official said.
Nograles was on anti-fake news mode Tuesday as he addressed an old video clip of President Duterte that suddenly went viral recently.
In the video, Duterte says that having two doses of the COVID-19 is “enough”. The message of the video could potentially confuse Filipinos, given the government’s recent intensified push to administer additional doses of the vaccine or so-called booster shots.
“Ilagay po natin ito sa tamang konteksto: Sinabi ito ng Pangulo noong Setyembre nang nakaraang taon, Sept. 2021, kung saan nasa 21 million pa lamang ang fully vaccinated sa bansa (Let’s put it in proper context: This was uttered by the President in Sept. 2021, when there were only 21 million fully vaccinated people in the country),” he said. This figure has since tripled.
“Ang prayoridad natin sa panahon na iyon ay mapataas ang bilang ng naturukan ng dalawang doses at ito nga ang ating objective noon; hindi pa naaaprubahan ang pag-administer ng booster doses noon (Our priority during that time was increasing the number of people with two doses of the vaccine; we were yet to approve booster shots then),” he said.
“So we reiterate our call for the public to be wary of information regarding COVID-19 that does not come from credible sources,” he added.
According to Nograles, wrong information “weakens” Filipinos in the fight against COVID-19.
“Kumbaga sa giyera, kung mali ang impormasyon mo tungkol sa kaaway mo, hindi rin tama ang iyong paghahanda laban dito. Muli, sa pagpapalaganap ng tamang impormasyon, magtulungan po tayong magligtas ng buhay (In terms of a war, if you have wrong information about your enemy, then you won’t be able to prepare properly. Again, let’s spread correct information, let’s save lives together),” he said.