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Celebrities, netizens react to Harry Roque’s reason for Philippines recording more COVID-19 cases than Indonesia

Online users slam Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque for allegedly making up excuses as the Philippines surpassed Indonesia as the country with the most number of confirmed COVID-19 cases.

  • 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.

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.”

Someone described the government officials’ claims as “incomplete comparison.”

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.

Roque then advised Filipinos to know the context of the data reported by media, implying that the numbers don’t show the full picture.

Written by J M

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