- He stated that the Philippines only has more cases because it tested more.
- He added that the Indonesians are just unaware of who has COVID-19
Netizens reacted negatively to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque’s way of downplaying the news that the Philippines replaced Indonesia as the Southeast Asian country with the most confirmed COVID-19 case by putting a different spin on the data.
During the Malacanang press briefing on August 7, Roque said that the country recorded the highest tally of COVID positive cases because of “increased testing” and said that this does not mean that the Philippines surpassed Indonesia.
“Ibig sabihin po, dahil mas maigting ang ating pagte-test, hindi po totoo na mas maraming kaso tayo kaysa sa Indonesia. Hindi lang nalalaman ng Indonesian kung sino-sino yung mga umiikot na mayroon nang sakit,” said Roque, who is also the spokesman of the Philippine government’s coronavirus task force.
Television personality Robi Domingo sarcastically congratulated the Philippines for being “number 1”.
Someone stated that the only way to solve the problem in the country is for the government to hold themselves accountable.
Again I think it’s basic that we can only solve a problem if in the first place we recognize it.
I feel there’s no shame for government to accept this fact. Those numbers came from DOH. I mean the numbers do not lie right? Ideally.
Recognize it then do something about it. pic.twitter.com/QYDret6cd2
— Jules Guiang (@JULESguiang) August 7, 2020
A netizen went on and called him a “clown” for stating the excuse.
Another one mentioned the fact that the government refuses to do mass testing and yet claims that the Philippines had more tests done versus its neighboring country.
“Wow this gov’t is really starting a word war with our ASEAN neighbors,” said a Twitter user.
“First it was Malaysia, now we’re downplaying Indonesia’s COVID response? Can Mr Roque back that up with data? I highly doubt it.”
Wow this gov't is really starting a word war with our ASEAN neighbors. First it was Malaysia, now we're downplaying Indonesia's COVID response? Can Mr Roque back that up with data? I highly doubt it. https://t.co/ocXPsWDy5q
— ジーン 🐒 (@mrgnmrtnz) August 7, 2020
Someone described the government officials’ claims as “incomplete comparison.”
Roque: Hindi conclusive. Mas mataas testing natin kesa sa Indonesia.
Morales: Walang bansa ang walang korupsiyon.
Año: Walang bansa ang makakaclaim ng victory over covid
Dominguez: Hindi lang tayo ang bumagsak ang ekonomiya.
IS THIS GOVERNANCE BY INCOMPLETE COMPARISON???
— nico quejano (@nico_quejano) August 7, 2020
A netizen somewhat agreed with Roque, saying that it is true that Indonesia may have way more cases undetected. However, the Philippines may also be in the same position.
Harry Roque isn’t wrong about Indonesia—they probably have way more cases than detected.
Ironically though, the same is probably true for us. Who knows how many cases we’re missing, especially the deaths that go untested? Isn’t this a little common sense? 😬 https://t.co/XRYq8LZwRd
— Josh (@josh_danac) August 7, 2020
Roque then advised Filipinos to know the context of the data reported by media, implying that the numbers don’t show the full picture.