MANILA (UPDATE)-- Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Thursday said it was "not his intention to offend" the public when he visited a resort in Subic, Zambales during the pandemic after receiving backlash on social media.
Pictures on the Ocean Adventure Facebook page earlier showed Roque swimming with dolphins. The post has been deleted.
Roque said he stopped by the resort on his way to Mariveles, Bataan where he had agricultural businesses to attend to even before the lockdown was imposed due to COVID-19.
"I was trying to wrap up po 'yung mga negosyo ko noong wala pa ako sa gobyerno. Hindi ko naman po magawa nung sarado po ang Bataan," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
(I was trying to wrap up my businesses after I left government. I couldn't do it when Bataan was still on lockdown.)
Roque said he was the only visitor of the resort at the time and that it was the town's first day of modified general community quarantine.
"Wala pong nalabag pero kung meron pong na-offend, paumanhin po. 'Di po natin intensyon na tayo'y may ma-offend po," he said.
(There were no violations but if there were people who were offended, I apologize, it was not my intention to offend.)
"I can assure po dahil paulit-ulit naman nating sinasabi ang rules pero paumahin pa rin po kung hindi nagustuhan ang mga larawan."
(I can assure this since I have been repeatedly announcing rules but still, I apologize if the people did not like the photos.)
In a Palace press briefing, Roque reiterated his apology and denied allegations that he held a party.
“Hindi po ako nag-party, nag-iisa po ako, ang kasama ko po apat na dolphins,” he said.
(I didn't have a party. I was alone with four dolphins.)
"Kung mayroon nalabag po ako sa social distancing, ang katabi ko naman po mga dolphins, hindi naman mga tao," he added.
(If I violated any social distancing rules, I was with dolphins and not people.)