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Harry Roque continues to defend admission to UP-PGH, denies ‘palakasan’ earned him a hospital bed

During his press briefing yesterday, April 13, he justified that he got a UP-PGH room by his condition and “merited admission” to the hospital.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque seemed to stand by his word that he did not get VIP treatment at the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH), as he insisted his admission there was within the bounds of the protocol.

During his press briefing yesterday, April 13, he justified that he got a UP-PGH room by his condition and “merited admission” to the hospital.

Apart from saying it was his doctors who said he had to be admitted, he also said, “Bahagi po ito ng University of the Philippines. Wala pong pagkakaiba ang UP-PGH sa UP Diliman. Hindi po pwede ang palakasan dito.”

He added that all of his doctors are regulars at UP-PGH.

“Mga kasama ko po sila sa faculty (ng UP System). Mga faculty po sila ng (UP) College of Medicine, at matagal ko na po silang mga doktor.”

He also said that he has ‘deep ties’ to UP-PGH, citing the hospital as his birthplace and that he is a member of an ‘association that helps UP-PGH’.

“I can assure you po (na) gaya ng lahat ng ibang hospital, ang basis ng admission ay kinakailangang moderate to severe cases. Sa aking kaso po, I was in bad shape,” said Roque, adding that he took Remdesivir, one of the few approved medicines for treating COVID-19, for his condition to improve.

Roque has since been deemed fit enough to at least be transferred to a different facility.

His defense did nothing to quell the angered Netizens toward his VIP treatment, which most of them still insisted he received such.

Activist and known protest organizer Renato Reyes, Jr. said Roque admitted to receiving VIP treatment short of actually admitting he was given preferential treatment.

A UP Manila student, where PGH stands, also took a swipe at Roque, saying he still gets better treatment against those who needed it the most—regular Filipinos who are becoming statistics during the pandemic.

Another Netizen and UP Manila student questioned not just Roque but also PGH admin officers. They cannot accept the reality that Roque was allowed to get a bed faster than everyone else lining up at the emergency room.

Others even pointed out how Roque was administered with Remdesivir while others [with worse conditions] had to resort to the bare minimum: oxygen tanks.

Screenwriter Anj Pessumal also highlighted Roque’s convenient excuse. To most Netizens–is another show of privilege.

This recent event may have just added to Roque’s media gaffes that might never get erased even after he retires from public service.

Roque has been the ‘apple of the eye’ of Government critics ever since he came back as President Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesperson.

In September 2020, he would claim that the Manila Bay white sand beach was better for Filipino’s mental health. 

Netizens did not appreciate that crack, especially with crowds gathering at the bay area.

He is also under fire for some of his on-screen antics, including his now-infamous reaction to being asked who he didn’t like in Duterte’s cabinet.

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