By Prince Golez
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said he was “taken aback” by the huge crowd during an event that he attended in Bantayan Island, Cebu last Friday.
In a statement Saturday evening, Roque said he followed quarantine protocols and reminded the audience to observe the minimum health standards.
“The venue was open air as it was held by the beach but I had to reiterate for the audience to keep on their masks,” the Palace official said a day after his photos with a large number of people drew flak online for violating the ban on mass gatherings.
“Also, I did not shake hands and I wore a face mask,” he added.
This was not the first time that netizens criticized Roque for alleged quarantine violation. Early this month, a video of him singing inside a bar amid the destruction of typhoon “Ulysses” in Cagayan Valley went viral on social media.
“The activity where I was seen speaking before a crowd was organized by the local government, which I had no control as a guest. I was later informed that the local official/s mentioned in interview/s that they did not expect the huge turnout of people as well,” said Roque.
“Be that as it may, they advised the public to wear face masks and there was general compliance, as seen in the pictures that came out,” he concluded.