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Roque Has No Right to Bully Health Workers, Robredo Says

The vice president takes on the presidential spokesperson.
by Erwin Colcol
Sep 12, 2021
Photo/s: VP Leni Robredo/Facebook/Office of the President

Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday called out presidential spokesperson Harry Roque over his viral outburst against health workers, saying he has no right to bully those who have a different opinion than him in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Roque figured in a viral video where he spoke during a virtual IATF meeting against a group of health workers who were opposing the government's decision to loosen quarantine restrictions.

Considering it was a meeting of an inter-agency body against COVID-19, Robredo said groups would naturally have different perspectives on how the government should respond to the health crisis.

"Kaya nga may IATF para mapakinggan lahat. Kung hindi ka agree, okay namang sabihin mo na hindi ka agree pero wala kang karapatan na mam-bully, mambastos," she said in her weekly radio program.

"Kung merong ibang tao na kausap mo na iba yung pagtingin sa mga bagay, wala ka namang karapatan na mag-react the way na Sec. Roque did," he added.

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Robredo stressed that as representatives of the medical sector, doctors who were present in the IATF have the right to air the grievances of health workers who risk their lives just to treat those who have been infected with COVID-19.

"Kung ayaw mong makinig ng contrary opinion e huwag ka nang pumunta doon. Kasi yung purpose ng meeting na yun, para i-harmonize yung iba't ibang pagtingin kung ano yung makakabuti para sa taumbayan," she added.

Roque has apologized over his act, saying the outburst was in behalf of Filipinos who were unable to work because of the lockdowns.

Some health workers, however, called for Roque's resignation following the outburst, saying it was unbecoming of a public official who eyes a Senate seat to react violently to suggestions to contain the pandemic.

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