COVID-19-positive Roque is ‘ultimate example of pasaway’, says Zarate
MANILA, Philippines — After presidential spokesperson Harry Roque announced that he tested positive for the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate dubbed him as “the ultimate example of pasaway” for violating health protocols.
Zarate said he gave Roque such a tag for visiting different places in the country “as if daring the COVID virus to infect him.”
“Sec. Roque, on the other hand, is the ultimate example of ‘pasaway’… Yesterday, he was tested for COVID but instead of immediately isolating himself until he got the results, he even went to his office today thereby putting his officemates at risk,” Zarate said in a statement.
“How pasaway can you get, especially for a government official lecturing ordinary people to follow health protocols?” he added.
According to Roque, he underwent COVID-19 testing on Sunday as part of the protocol before the scheduled meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte today, Monday.
“As of 11:29 this morning, nakuha ko po ang resulta na positibo po ako para sa COVID,” Roque said in his regular Palace briefing earlier.
The presidential spokesperson likewise asked those whom he had close contact with to isolate themselves now.
Roque, who had in the past drawn criticism for allegedly violating health and quarantine protocols on a number of occasions, gave an assurance that he was negative for COVID-19 before attending his last public event last Friday, March 12, in Ilocos Norte.
Zarate likewise took a jab at Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Debold Sinas who was also confirmed to have contracted the respiratory ailment caused by the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.
“Gen. Sinas is truly the epitome of impunity. First, with his ‘mañanita’ party during ‘enhanced community quarantine’. Then, just the other day, he did not undergo the required health screening and protocol when he went to Mindoro and eventually tested positive for COVID,” Zarate pointed out.
“He may have infected many people in the gatherings he attended. Yet, until now, he has not been sanctioned for his careless actions endangering the lives of many citizens,” he added.
Zarate then said the military officials in the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) should be replaced by medical experts.
INQUIRER.net has reached out to Roque for his comment on Zarate’s remarks.
In his reply, he rejected Zarate’s tag on him.
“Of course not. Result came in at 11:20 a.m. before my presser,” he said. “And (RT-PCR test) was a requirement for (a meeting with) PRRD later. Have no symptoms and no (known) contact (with) positive.”
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