Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Thursday he did not violate any quarantine and health protocols when he visited a marine park in Subic, Zambales, amid pandemic after he received criticisms on social media.
The now-deleted photos of Roque with the dolphins in Ocean Adventure Facebook page circulated online and stirred controversies yesterday.
“Hindi po ako bumibisita doon, taga doon po ako… I’m trying to wrap up ‘yung mga negosyo ko noong wala pa ako sa gobyerno na hindi ko naman magawa noong sarado pa ang Bataan,” Roque said.
(I am from the area, looking after my business which I had before I joined government service, something I could not do when Bataan was still on lockdown.)
Roque added he was the only visitor of the resort at the time and that it was the Subic’s first day of modified general community quarantine. He also reasoned that tourism is also allowed under MGCQ.
“Wala pong nalabag pero kung meron pong mga na-offend paumanhin po,” he said.
(No rules were violated, but I apologize to those who felt offended.)
“I can assure po dahil paulit-ulit naman nating sinasabi ang rules pero paumahin pa rin po kung hindi nagustuhan ang mga larawan.”
(I can assure this since I have repeatedly been announcing rules, but still, I apologize if the people did not like the photos.)
The Palace official earlier drew flak after he congratulated the Philippines for beating the University of Philippines’ prediction of 40,000 COVID-19 cases by the end of June.
Travel restriction implemented in Iloilo province
Iloilo province is temporarily closing its border to nearby areas due to rising cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
In an executive order issued by Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr., residents from other areas such as Antique, Capiz and Negros Occidental will not be allowed into the province.
Government officials are exempted from travel restrictions, including health and emergency frontliners, individuals entering for medical and humanitarian reasons, and airports for international travel.
Returning OFWs will also be allowed by the government.
Residents and those who want to travel to Iloilo are notified that they have until Friday, July 3, to return home or go to the province.
They just need to show proof of residence on their way home from Iloilo. Those unable to return Friday will be considered stranded individuals.