Philippine Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.
PHOTO BY SUPPLIED
MANILA – Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque apologized on Thursday (July 2) after his photos swimming with dolphins amid quarantine protocols went viral on social media.
Photos of Roque’s visit to Ocean Adventure in Subic, Zambales also showed him talking with the resort staff without wearing a facemask. The photos posted on the resort’s social media page have since been deleted.
Roque drew flak from netizens questioned how the spokesman could justify such a carefree excursion while the rest of the country is suffering through the pandemic.
A Metro Manila-wide quarantine prohibits non-essential travel, but Roque assured that he did not violate quarantine rules and said the incident will not happen again.
“I recognize that there may be those who were offended by the photos. To them, my apologies. I’m just human,” Roque said in Filipino.
He insisted that he did not violate quarantine protocols, saying he was permitted to travel as an Authorized Person Outside Residence (APOR) due to his hog farm business.
He said that he headed home to Zambales to attend to his business ventures that were on the verge of bankruptcy.
He said that he decided to see the dolphins as a “side trip” and as a break from his hectic work schedule.
“It was not a trip intended for leisure. It was a side trip,” he said, adding that he intended to stay there for only an hour.
He said that he didn’t violate any regulation because he was with dolphins, not people, and because swimming is allowed in areas under quarantine. ICA/Expat Media
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