Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque seen berating doctor in leaked video

·Contributor
·2 min read
FILE PHOTO: Harry Roque speaks as Philippine lawmakers hear an impeachment complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte at the House of Congress in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines May 15, 2017. (Source: REUTERS/Erik De Castro)
FILE PHOTO: Harry Roque speaks as Philippine lawmakers hear an impeachment complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte at the House of Congress in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines May 15, 2017. (Source: REUTERS/Erik De Castro)

Several organizations blasted Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque after a leaked video from an Inquirer reporter showed how he threw a fit against a doctor who opposed the government's planned shift to granular lockdowns from region-wide quarantine classifications.

In a clip from the September 7 virtual meeting of the pandemic task force, Roque was seen pointing a finger and berating Dr. Maricar Limpin, president of the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP).

This was how Roque reacted after Limpin emotionally appealed against easing Metro Manila back to general community quarantine (GCQ) despite the surge of COVID-19 cases.

Limpin cautioned that a GCQ in the capital region at this time might lead to an increase in daily infections. The country just hit a new high of 22,820 cases on Thursday.

"We won't be able to handle this," Limpin said in Filipino. "We're begging you, please, please, please."

"This group, they have never said anything good about the government's response," Roque said, pointing his finger.

Calling his behavior “uncalled for” and anti-healthcare workers," health workers' groups have since demanded an apology.

“Medical professionals are only giving advice and that's what he tells them? Does he lack sleep?" said Dr. Leni Jara Shape Up to Defeat COVID-19.

Robert Mendoza of the Alliance of Health Workers called for his resignation. "For us in AHW, Secretary Roque should already resign," he said.

Maristela Abenojar of Filipino Nurses United pointed out that Roque has been consistently making statements about medical professionals who have long been recognized as heroes of the pandemic, even by Duterte.

"He is not a good example because if you're in that position, you should be listening and understanding where health workers' sentiments are coming from," Abenojar said.

Ana Catalina Paje is a development journalist passionate about grassroots communication geared towards genuine social change. She also writes about showbiz, lifestyle, and all things Pinoy pride. The views expressed are her own.

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