MALACAÑANG Palace can be credited for numerous policies and actions that redound to the benefit of a majority of Filipinos. We can cite for instance its sincere efforts to alleviate the hardships suffered by the masses, poor and middle class alike, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
From March, 2020 when the World Health Organization officially recognized the epidemic as a pandemic, the Executive branch and the legislature cooperated and coordinated their efforts at official response. The products of these initiatives are the two Bayanihan laws that allocated cash subsidies for the citizens, and bridged the economic gap created by the prolonged lockdown.
In the matter of implementing health protocols, however, the Palace’s slip is showing, unfortunately.
‘The latest caper that will challenge the credulity rating of the public is the lame explanation from the Palace, mainly from spox Roque, that there is nothing wrong in receiving donated, smuggled, and unregistered vaccine and administering yourself with it.’
People close to the Palace and/or those who are working there such as Harry Roque, Mocha Uson, Koko Pimentel, Manny Pacquiao, Salvador Panelo and Debold Sinas, and several others have been criticized on social media for violating public health protocols which the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) so meticulously crafted, publicized, and enforced.
They were all, more or less, absolved by the authorities for being remiss in their role model of a good citizen during this period of COVID-19 pandemic. And to think that they are not ordinary citizens, or just regular government employees. They are so-called leaders in our bureaucracy.
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año is known for being strict with local government officials, especially those absent in their towns and cities during typhoons. He refuses to lock horns, however, with the likes of Panelo and Roque.
You see, recently, some diners in a restaurant reportedly requested Atty. Salvador Panelo to sing. The man is known to be very sociable and friendly and it will not take much convincing for him to take the mic, and once in possession of the microphone, it reportedly would take an even greater effort to convince him to let it go.
Año likes to look the other way when faced with reports of perceived violations that involve Palace factotums. After absolving the presidential spokesman-Thai media poster boy, and the boxer-senator for their visits to Cebu and Batangas, respectively, Secretary Año readily cleared Panelo, even offering the public the reasons the Palace attorney should not be sanctioned.
During the holidays, social media was overflowing with pictures of Senator Pacquiao’s birthday party in General Santos City, which was under modified general community quarantine. Posted on Instagram by his wife Jinkee, the pictures do not lie: there were no masks, there was no one-meter distance between guests. And however much the senator explain that there were only 50 guests in a hall that accommodates 300, and that every body had the required RT-PCR swab tests, it is plain to see in the photos posted that some health protocols of the IATF had been violated by the president of President Duterte’s political party, the PDP-Laban.
The latest caper that will challenge the credulity rating of the public is the lame explanation from the Palace, mainly from spox Roque, that there is nothing wrong in receiving donated, smuggled, and unregistered vaccine and administering yourself with it. And this, at a time when officials are raiding and seizing unregistered cosmetics in Divisoria.