Duterte during a televised briefing Sunday night that healthcare workers could have sent them a request letter for a dialogue regarding their plea to temporarily revert Metro Manila under enhanced community quarantine so they could “breathe” and recuperate from exhaustion.
Roque said the medical groups’ letter reached President Duterte on Saturday, around 4 pm. It is hours after healthcare workers representatives conducted an online press briefing to air their grievances.
“Ang pinanggagalingan ng Presidente, una, bagamat binigay po niya ang ninanais ng ating mga frontliner, nagtataka siya, bakit he was the last to know about the demand,” Roque said in a radio interview.
“Yung liham mismo kay Presidente the day before, kalat na at tsaka bago pa dumating kay Presidente. So ‘yun po ang pinanggagalingan ni Presidente. Hindi niya maintindihan. Ano ba ito?…Parang naging may aspeto na parang protesta na nga na wala ka ng choice kundi sumunod sa gusto namin na hindi naman dapat,” he added.
The spokesperson also explained the President’s remark that challenged health workers to hold a “revolution” against his administration was a reaction to the Filipino version of “Do You Hear the People Sing,” which was played during an anti-government protest.
“Talaga naman ang mga kritiko ng gobyerno pagsasamantalahan itong pandemya,” Roque said. “Sabi lang niya, naku sige na fast forward na natin. Gusto n’yo talaga n’yan, gusto ninyong palitan ako, gusto n’yong mag-rebolusyon, ngayon na.”
However, Philippine College of Physicians President Dr. Mario Panaligan denied on Monday that they want a revolution.
“Sa amin kasi ‘yun talagang panawagan para makapag-usap kami. Magkaroon ng panahon para makapagplano at makita ang mga problema na dapat pagtuunan ng pansin,” Panaligan said in an interview on GMA Network’s Unang Hirit.
Duterte on Sunday night reverted Metro Manila, the provinces of Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite, and Rizal back to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) from August 4 to August 18.