Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on Tuesday said shouting at people was not a privilege government officials enjoy, apologizing on behalf of Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque who went viral for berating health workers in a leaked video.
How Roque behaved in that footage from a virtual meeting of the government's pandemic task force was "unfortunate" and it shouldn't have happened, Año said.
In the viral video, Roque lashed out at Philippine College of Physicians president Dr. Maricar Limpin who appealed in near-tears on behalf of health workers taking the brunt of the country's rising COVID cases.
"Although I was not in the meeting at the time... For me personally, I want to apologize to the health sector. That is an unfortunate event na hindi dapat nangyari," Año told CNN Philippines' The Source.
According to the DILG secretary, his fellow cabinet member's argument on balancing the health of the economy and the people was a valid one, but the manner in which that point was carried out was not a "privilege" top government officials have.
"If I may say, ‘yung sinabi ni Secretary Harry Roque, ‘pag titignan mo may mga valid argument doon. Ang problema doon is the manner it was delivered. Kasi siyempre diba kahit naman nasa government tayo, hindi iyan tinatawag na privilege para sigawan mo ang isang tao, magtaas ka ng boses. Pare-parehas naman tayong citizen ng bansa na 'to so kailangan respeto din," he said.
"Para sakin kasi, sa mga discussion, kahit gaano kasama yung idea ng isang tao at magdidiscussion tayo, pakinggan natin. Dapat cool lang tayo, let’s be open to all ideas kumbaga in a professional manner," he said.
Año said the National Security Council and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency are looking into security measures that will prevent leakage of the IATF's virtual meetings.