CEBU

Bzzzzz: Why Trump, Guv Gwen don't wear face masks in public

CEBU. US President Donald Trump (left) holding his protective face mask and Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia not wearing a face mask in one of her virtual press conferences. (AP/Screenshot from Sugbo News video)

US President Trump has not explained why he does not wear a face mask in public. But clearly, said one Washington Post writer, "part of it is vanity." He is "keenly focused on his hair, his skin that must maintain a consistent hue, and his rise to initial fame was a function of reality TV." Surely he must be attentive to how he appears to the public. No one looks his best with a face mask.

But Trump said last May 21 that one reason was he didn't want to be seen wearing one. And he already told the public that he wouldn't heed the health experts' recommendation to wear protective cover on the face. Besides, the Post said, he must be sticking it to the media that keeps pestering him with the question "why."

When a photo of Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia was published showing her mask-less while her chief-of-staff, Atty. Frank Dinsay, had a mask on, a Facebook user asked why. Her answer: something about inhaling the carbon-dioxide she exhaled, which couldn't get out because of the face mask. She didn't say she looks more telegenic minus the face covering and the words from her mouth come out clearly.

Student, proctor

During the Senate session Thursday, June 4, before its break, Senator Bong Go refused to be interpellated.

Go had just delivered a privileged speech criticizing the health, budget and labor departments for delayed release of cash benefits for health workers who were infected or died because of Covid-19. He said he would not take questions from the floor.

Minority Leader Franklin Drilon stood to ask if it was the "new normal." While a senator may refuse to answer inquiries from his colleagues, Drilon said, it is not the practice. The interpellation enables the legislator's peers to get more information, raise contrary view and test the argument of the speaker. If one shuns interpellation, the legislator is usually unprepared or does not know how to deal with the questions.

But Go in the past had also refused to be interpellated. By "new normal," Drilon must have taken a dig at the new crop of senators who may be unskilled in the verbal exchange between legislators, which often turns into a debate.

If refusing interpellation wasn't unseemly enough, Go's riposte to Drilon was interesting: "I'm not your student and you're not my proctor." No, Go is not and Drilon is not. But speaking out and being questioned are part of the job of a senator.

Mix-up in Q&A

One anecdote from the Senate involved an actor-senator who feared but wanted to experience interpellation after a privileged speech.

The actor-senator read a ghost-written speech and arranged for two colleagues to ask him with prepared questions, to which he also had prepared answers.

He survived the speech-making but the interpellation took a hilarious turn when his two friends swapped questions and he gave mixed-up answers.

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