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Lockdown equals vacation? Celebs, journos slam Harry Roque for claiming Pinoys have been on vacation since start of lockdown

The Palace mouthpiece seems to be taking a page off of President Rodrigo Duterte’s book of misleading quotes.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque just added to his list of media gaffes, this time insinuating that the year-long lockdown has been nothing more than a vacation for Filipinos.

In a Laging Handa media briefing on March 2, Roque would try to defend President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to take away November 2, December 24, and December 31 from the list of holidays for 2021.

“Napakatagal na po nating nakabakasyon, halos isang taon na tayong nakabakasyon dahil sa COVID-19,” Roque said during the media briefing.

This did not sit well with netizens, particularly journalists who have seen the damage the pandemic has done to Filipinos.

GMA News’ Atom Araullo called out Roque for calling the country’s year-long lockdown a vacation when it was “exhausting” and “anxiety-ridden” for Filipinos.

Austria-based journalist Kevin Manalo slammed Roque for being insensitive. “Sana tubuan ka naman ng kaunting hiya at pagpapakumbaba.”

Celebrities and social media personalities would also chime in, calling out Roque for his controversial comparison of the year-long lockdown to a sabbatical.

Kakie Pangilinan called Roque’s misplaced comparison “heartbreaking”.

Ramon Bautista would ask where Roque gets his confidence to face the public and spout controversial statements on a daily basis.

K Brosas only had emojis to describe Roque’s most recent media gaffe.

Filmmaker Quark Henares, on the other hand, lauded the Philippine Daily Inquirer for “always choosing Roque’s worst possible photos” in their quotes.

Human rights advocate Frank Baraan IV would have two of the meatier retorts to Roque’s comparison.

One with a sprinkling of expletives…

… the other seemingly confirming Roque’s comparison.

Roque has since clarified his statement, saying “hindi naman po talaga bakasyon iyan, kung hindi, hindi nakakapagtrabaho.”

His clarification, however, did nothing to save his reputation with netizens.

Roque’s latest statement further adds to his series of media gaffes and seeming lack of communication with other government officials.

On March 3, Roque would boldly claim that 487,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines would be shipped to the country by March 4.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, Jr. would later say he cannot confirm when the AstraZeneca doses will arrive.

Roque would also try to deny allegations about him habitually cutting off reporters who got too inquisitive during media briefings, placing the blame onto telecommunication companies Globe and PLDT-Smart.

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