Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque on Tuesday slammed the allegedly unfair coverage of some media outlets after netizens criticized his attendance in an event in Cebu province, which drew in a large crowd while they failed to observe physical distancing.
Roque said he was resentful because the media outlets were quick to point out how he was surrounded by crowds but seemingly ignored how Vice President Leni Robredo herself would even shake hands with individuals she would meet in relief operations and other activities.
“What makes me resentful is why am I being bombarded by Inquirer and ABS-CBN? How come, as you see on the screen, VP Leni would make handshakes, isn’t that a violation of the restriction on social distancing? I wish our friends in the media would be fair,” Roque said.
He said it seemed that the media outlets purposely left out reporting about Robredo’s violation of quarantine protocols.
“Why is it all me but VP Leni, how come she wasn’t mentioned in mainstream media? No Inquirer, no ABS-CBN, right? So, let’s be fair,” Roque said.
He insisted again that he did not break any quarantine rules because he repeatedly reminded the crowd to observe physical distancing.
“It was on record that I told them ‘you’re not observing physical distancing,’ and what I did was I told the Mayor, let’s end this program, and true enough, in less than an hour the program ended,” Roque said.
He said he had no control over the people who would go outside to see him.
“I saw the photos. We didn’t think too much of it because those with experience in politics know that what can you do if they offer their hand to shake. For me, let’s just be fair. It’s an appeal to our colleagues in the media ‘no, let’s just be fair,” Roque said.
Roque, meanwhile, denied that he had any plans to run for senator in the coming elections.
“I’m already contented with my life. For 54 years of my life, 50 years of it I was a private citizen. I’ll just return to my old role of criticizing the presidents. It seems more fun, he said.
In July, Roque also drew flak after photos of him in the water with dolphins in Ocean Adventure in Subic, Zambales, went viral.
He apologized but insisted that he did not violate quarantine protocols since he was considered an authorized person outside residence, and that he was permitted to travel due to his hog farm business.
Large gatherings are currently prohibited under the guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.