Juxtaposed: Transparency in Lorenzana and Palace spox’s COVID-19 test results

April 7, 2021 - 6:54 PM
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This composite photo shows Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque. (Facebook/Delfin Lorenzana; Harry Roque)

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana released a screenshot of his RT-PCR test results as proof that he tested positive for COVID-19.

Some Filipinos noticed the DND chief’s transparency and compared this to other government officials who did not publicize their COVID-19 test results.

Lorenzana announced on April 6 that he received his COVID-19 test results that day and had since undergone isolation.

His close contacts were asked to self-isolate.

“The result of my RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) test today, 06 April 2021, came up positive. I will be undergoing isolation, following the quarantine guidelines to avoid infecting others. Those who have been exposed to me have been informed. They have been advised to isolate and get tested for COVID-19 as well,” Lorenzana said.

The Department of National Defense will continue to operate through a skeletal workforce, he added.

The next day, on Wednesday, the defense secretary posted the report of his swab test results on social media.

“Yesterday, I got a call that I was COVID-19 positive. Today, I got the official result. I’m now working from home, while in isolation,” Lorenzana said.

“Observing symptoms to manifest is agonizing, but I fill my mind with positive thoughts. Thank you for your well wishes and prayers,” he added.

 

The test result indicated that Lorenzana had undergone testing at the Veteran Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City.

Amid the messages of support and hope for his recovery, some Filipinos questioned why other government officials could not be transparent with their COVID-19 test results.

“Transparency. If Sec. @del_lorenzana can do it (posting the official test results), what’s stopping others from doing it as well? Praying for the speedy recovery of Sec. Lorenzana,” said former Comelec commissioner Goy Larrazabal on Twitter.

Some Filipinos mentioned presidential spokesperson Harry Roque in their criticisms.

“Bakit si Sec. Lorenzana nilabas ang test result? Yung isa diyan, confidential daw. Tama ba @attyharryroque?” one user said.

“I remember when we demanded for Roque’s swab results, he refused to disclose it,” another user wrote.

A similar situation

Roque also contracted COVID-19 last March 15 a day after taking the swab test as part of his “routine” or preparations before his regular attendance at the weekly Cabinet meeting.

Back then, he stated that he was asymptomatic and will continue working while staying at an isolation facility.

Some Filipinos, however, were skeptical about the spokesman’s test results and asked him to show proof of his RT-PCR test results.

Others compared the Palace official to Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto who also announced going on quarantine on the same day after getting exposed to an infected patient.

Sotto tested negative for COVID-19 and showed uploaded his test results on social media.

Roque, meanwhile, refused to post the document of his test results, citing it was unnecessary.

“Hindi ko maintindihan kung bakit kailangan ipakita. I don’t think it’s important,” he said.