Nothing wrong with Roque's 'sidetrip' to marine park: DILG

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 03 2020 01:03 PM | Updated as of Jul 03 2020 02:14 PM

MANILA-- There was nothing wrong with Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque's "sidetrip" to a marine park in Subic, Zambales earlier this week, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said Friday after the government official drew criticism.

Tourist destinations such as marine parks are allowed to operate at a limited capacity in areas under modified general community quarantine like Zambales, DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said.

"Wala pong nakikita ang DILG na kamalian ni Spokesperson Harry Roque," Malaya said in a virtual press briefing.

(The DILG sees nothing wrong with what Spokesperson Harry Roque did.)

"Noong pumunta po si Spokesperson Harry Roque doon, it was MGCQ na. Ibig sabihin, puwede na po mag-operate ang mga tourist facilities up to 50 percent," he added.

(When Spokesperson Harry Roque went there, the area was already under MGCQ. It means that tourist facilities can already operate up to 50 percent of their capacity.)

Malaya added that other authorized persons outside of their residence or commonly called as APOR by officials, can visit resorts that are compliant with coronavirus precautionary measures in areas under MGCQ.

"Kahit sino po na APOR who happens to be in an MGCQ area puwede na po tayo pumunta sa mga resort so long as these resorts comply with the 50 percent occupancy requirement," he said.

(Any APOR who happens to be in an MGCQ area can go to resorts so long as these resorts comply with the 50 percent occupacny requirement.)

Roque on Thursday said it was "not his intention to offend" the public when he visited the marine park, saying it was only a "sidetrip" when he went to Mariveles, Bataan where he had agricultural businesses to attend to.

Pictures on the Ocean Adventure Facebook page earlier showed Roque swimming with dolphins. The post has since been deleted. 

"Wala pong nalabag pero kung meron pong na-offend, paumanhin po. 'Di po natin intensyon na tayo'y may ma-offend po," Roque said.

(There were no violations but if there were people who were offended, I apologize, it was not my intention to offend.)