Palace spokesman Harry Roque on Friday apologized for his outburst against doctors during a meeting attended by the country’s pandemic policymakers but said he stood by what he said.
The Inquirer released a video where Roque, visibly irate, was censuring doctors, specifically Dr. Maricar Limpin, for opposing the government’s decision to ease quarantine restrictions in Metro Manila.
In the video, Roque castigated the Philippine College of Physicians, which Limpin heads, of having “never said anything good about government response.”
Roque, during his virtual presser, apologized for raising his voice.
“That’s the first time that I lost my bearing in an IATF meeting, but as I said, I may apologize and I had in fact apologized for the manner, but never for the message. I stand by the message,” he told reporters.
“Kinukumpirma ko po na tayo po ay naging emosyonal – at pasensiya naman po kayo, tao lamang,” Roque added.
Roque claimed he got emotional standing by those who had gotten hungry due to joblessness amid strict quarantine classifications.
“Kung mayroon po akong na-offend sa aking pananalita, well humihingi po ako ng [paumanhin]. Pero, kinakailangan na pong pakinggan natin ang boses ng mga hindi naririnig sa IATF, ang hanay ng naghihirap at nagugutom,” he said.
Roque also said that IATF meetings were supposed to be secret.
“Secret ang mga pagpupulong ng IATF para lahat po ay makapagsalita kung anong nasa isipan nila at nang sa ganoon magkaroon po tayo ng tamang desisyon bagama’t siguro ang mga desisyon na ito ay hindi magiging popular,” he said. John Ezekiel J. Hirro