A Palace official’s name made it to Twitter Philippines‘ top trending list under the “entertainment” category following a leaked footage of him losing his cool over doctors’ opposition on the metro’s relaxing of quarantine restrictions.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque has been on the local trending list of the microblogging platform since Friday morning after the Philippine Daily Inquirer uploaded a clip of him berating a group of health experts.
His outburst came after Dr. Maricar Limpin, president of the Philippine College of Physicians, appealed for the government to refrain from downgrading Metro Manila to general community quarantine due to the rising COVID-19 cases brought by the Delta variant.
The video was a snippet of the online meeting attended by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Reports said that the meeting was held “shortly before Roque announced on Tuesday night that the planned return to a less restrictive general community quarantine (GCQ) had been put on hold.”
Roque accused the medical frontliners of supposedly failing to recognize the government’s pandemic response efforts and emphasized that they were attempting “to achieve total health.”
“Do not sit there as if you’re the only ones right. We’re trying to achieve total health. Who wants COVID to kill people? Are you saying that only medical frontliners are concerned about the health of the people? We all want to save lives. For crying out loud, no one in the government wants a single life lost. No one!” he blurted.
“How dare you think that we are not considering steps to prevent the loss of lives?” Roque added.
Limpin, in response to the outburst, told in an interview that she was trying “to alleviate the plight of the healthcare system.”
She added that she and other doctors in the meeting have asked the government to keep areas with high COVID-19 cases under enhanced community quarantine.
Groups of healthcare workers called out the Palace official in response to the incident and demanded an apology.
The spokesperson in the Palace’s daily briefing admitted that he got “emotional” in the meeting.
“Kinukumpirma ko po na tayo’y naging emosyonal at pasensiya naman po kayo at tao lamang,” he was quoted as saying.
“That’s the first time that I lost my bearing in an IATF meeting, but as I said, I may apologize and I have in fact apologized for the manner but never for the message,” the spokesperson said.
He added that he was speaking on behalf of those suffering from hunger and poverty as a result of the hard lockdowns and that there is a need to balance health and the economy.
In view of the leaked video, Roque’s name landed on local Twitter’s trending list where some Filipinos similarly berated him for scolding healthcare workers who are on the foremost frontlines of the pandemic.
The platform categorized the trend under “entertainment.”
This was also noticed by some Twitter users.
harry roque is trending under Entertainment skskskksks pic.twitter.com/3wvRhD38JN
— Jb Cabret (@jbcabret) September 10, 2021
harry roque trending under entertainment topic help 😭😭 pic.twitter.com/ncxI8fDcth
— ً (@kakiesokay) September 10, 2021
Other platform users threw his famous hashtag “#KalmaAkoLangTo” back at him following the leaked video incident.
— Titan (@_CEREALKILL3R) September 10, 2021
The face behind him says it all 🤭
That moment when you can’t handle your tantrums in defending the government’s response on country’s current situation
He (Harry Roque) should have managed to remain professional in the discussion
— WALTER CES (@waltzjces) September 10, 2021
Roque has long been using the hashtag on his social media accounts which are accompanied by quips and other humorous takes.