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MANILA – House Minority Floor Leader Joseph Stephen Paduano has urged Malacañang to censure Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque for uttering insensitive and arrogant statements amid the ongoing health crisis brought by the global coronavirus pandemic.

“We are in the midst of a pandemic and the least that we can expect from our government’s statement to the sentiments of the people is compassion,” said Paduano on Thursday.

Paduano got irked over Roque’s recent statement Filipinos cannot be choosy with the brand of vaccine that will be given them through the government’s inoculation program, as the Palace spokesman justified the decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) over the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines from China.

“The remarks of Roque reeks of insensitivity and arrogrance,” Paduano stressed.

The minority leader emphasized that cannot turn deaf ears to Roque’s “cocky remarks.”

“Sa panahong ito, ang pagiging arogante ng pananalita ni Sec. Roque ay hindi makatutulong bagkus magpapalala lamang ng sakit sa damdamin ng ating mamamayan.”

Paduano stressed that for Roque resorting to ad hominems directed to citizens clamoring for better public service may be considered a violation of his oath of office,” as he cited Section 4, paragraph C of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees (RA 6713), which states that “public officials and employees must act with justness and sincerity and shall not discriminate against anyone, especially the poor and the underprivileged,”

He added that at the end of the day, it is the Food and Drug Administration that “will determine the right vaccines that should be made available to Filipinos, not Roque.” (CMC)

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