Limlingan: Pandemic blunders

The Advocate

THERE is yet another high-ranking government official who has committed a blunder and is now the subject of criticisms. Presidential spokesperson lawyer Harry Roque is making waves after he played with dolphins in a marine park inside Subic Bay Freeport Zone.

For him, he sees no wrong with swimming with the dolphins since they are not humans and are not carriers of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). He, however, tickled the ire of netizens and members of the Earth Island Institute (EEI), a non-governmental organization, for indulging in "captive animal entertainment".

On social media, Roque has been bashed with netizens expressing their ire. He was also compared to people in community quarantined areas who are not allowed to go out of their homes except for some emergency or essential activities. Roque was on a leisure trip amid the present pandemic.

The presidential spokesperson was slammed by netizens for “living the life” while most people are enjoined not to go out and stranded individuals endure restrictions under community quarantine. He was enjoying while many are living in anxiety, hunger and fear of the virus while the pandemic is still extant.

Due to thousands of comments and adverse reactions, Roque has apologized for his jaunt while rationalizing that he did not violate any health protocols. Netizens were quick to retort and posted his photograph talking to employees of the marine park without any protective mask.

He, likewise, apologized to those who might have been "offended" by his foray into a marine park while claiming that it was a mere "side trip" after visiting his family's agri-business in Bataan. There seems to be nothing wrong with the visit except that his "side-trip" is not warranted in this time of the Covid-19.

Meanwhile, the EII said that Roque should be held accountable for his play with the dolphins which is violative of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, of which the Philippines is a signatory. In addition, the said organization said that he has also violated the Fisheries Code of the Philippines which says that it is unlawful to fish, take, catch, gather, sell, purchase, possess, transport, export, forward or ship out aquatic species listed in the CITES that includes the dolphins.


During the height of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), General Debold Sinas, chief of the Philippine National Police National Capital Region Police Office, was caught off-guard when he had a birthday party with his visitors violating quarantine protocols.

Some of those who were "pictured" were without face masks while violating social distancing measures. He was quick to justify such untimely activities that it was a mere mananita and that he did not anticipate his visitors coming. Such lavish and wrong-timing activity was bashed.


Also at the height of the ECQ, Senator Koko Pimentel committed a blunder when he accompanied his pregnant wife at a private hospital, while surely knowing that he might be a Covid-19 positive person due to his exposure to a person during a Senate hearing.

Pimentel earned the ire of many people especially those who were in the hospital who attended to his wife. Such was careless and act uncalled for.


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