When Barry lectures Harry: Here is how facts and opinions differ
MANILA, Philippines — Lawyer Barry Gutierrez told Harry Roque that factual statements and opinions are two different things.
Gutierrez maintained on Thursday that the Vice President, Leni Robredo, had never volunteered to appear in an infomercial with President Rodrigo Duterte to boost COVID-19 vaccine confidence.
Roque repeated his claim during his briefing, saying that he really believed that Robredo was volunteering even though multiple outlets had previously clarified that Senator Joel Villanueva came up with the idea of an infomercial.
“Let me illustrate the difference between fact and opinion. Fact: VP Leni never ‘pushed’ to have a joint infomercial with the President, and Sec Roque is lying if he insists that she did,” Gutierrez said in a tweet.
“Opinion: Someone who habitually lies is probably someone you shouldn’t trust. Gets?” Gutierrez asked.
The issue started when Roque said during Duterte’s pre-recorded briefing aired Wednesday night that after criticizing the government’s COVID-19 vaccine program and roadmap, the Vice President was volunteering to appear in an advertisement with the Chief Executive.
Robredo’s camp had blasted the administration for using lies to push their agenda, saying it seems Malacañang can’t put politics over dispelling myths about COVID-19 vaccines.
As the country battles misinformation on vaccines that causes people to be hesitant toward immunization, Villanueva suggested that an infomercial be created because of the two officials’ broad reach.
Vaccination czar and Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) official Carlito Galvez Jr. said poor people are the most hesitant to get vaccines.
By the end of the year, the Philippines hopes to achieve herd immunity and restore normalcy.Yet, it’s still an uphill battle as vaccine confidence is low among Filipinos, according to previous surveys.
Last November 2020, Social Weather Stations (SWS) said that only 66 percent of Filipinos expressed willingness to be vaccinated against COVID-19, should vaccines become available. The number has gone down, with SWS saying in a recent survey that only 32 percent is willing to be vaccinated.
This is consistent with another polling firm’s results: Pulse Asia said last March 26 that 61 percent of Filipinos would say no to COVID-19 vaccines with safety concerns being the top reason.
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