ENVIRONMENT Undersecretary Benny Antiporda on Saturday, June 27, 2020, denied the rumor circulating in Cebu that Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu booked 70 rooms at a business hotel for one week.
Antiporda said in a Laging Handa online briefing Saturday that Cimatu, who has been tasked by President Rodrigo Duterte to oversee the government’s Covid-19 response in Cebu City, stayed only for two days at the Seda Hotel. Only his aide was with him.
“For the information of everybody, dalawang araw lang po doon si Secretary, at ang kasama niya lang po ay ‘yung kanyang aide,” Antiporda said.
Cimatu arrived in Cebu on June 23, a day after Duterte announced his appointment, together with four other Cabinet members who are also members of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
The four other top government officials are National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 chairman and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, NTF chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr., Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año and Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.
Only Cimatu stayed for another day. Galvez and Año proceeded to Eastern Visayas, another emerging hotspot for coronavirus infections.
On the eve of their arrival, a message circulated through SMS and on social media alleged that the group “booked 70 rooms at Seda” and “reserved the ballroom for 100 pax meeting”.
“Malaking kalokohan po ‘yung sinasabing inabot ng 70 na kwarto ‘yung ginamit, hindi po totoo ‘yan. Hindi po marangyang tao si Secretary Cimatu,” said Antiporda.
“Kung ano po iyong maititipid ng taongbayan ay ginagawa po niya para po magamit sa tama ang pondo. Huwag po tayong maniniwala sa ganyang tsismis,” he added.
(That is a big lie. Secretary Cimatu is not extravagant. He finds a way to save on expenses. Let’s not believe in such a rumor.)
Antiporda urged the public not to spread false information and instead provide “moral support” for the officials of the DENR.
“Huwag po nating pahinain ang loob namin dito sa DENR sa halip ay tulungan niyo po kami, bigyan niyo kami ng moral support dahil ang amin lang ay gawin ang nakabubuti sa ating kababayan,” he said. (SunStar Philippines)