MANILA — Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque trended on social media when a video of him singing in a public setting turned up Saturday, a scene people criticized because they said it came at a time when the country was reeling from typhoons and floods.
In a statement, Roque said it was his way of unwinding.
“Just when I thought I could unlade a little after a hectic week/s, my unremarkable singing as a means of unloading goes public and I get a beating,” he said in a statement.
In a video shared to ABS-CBN News, Roque was on the microphone performing the Eraserheads’ “Pare Ko.”
A person familiar with the incident told ABS-CBN News that Roque went to the pub purportedly in Baguio on Friday night.
Roque, meanwhile, urged the public to “go back to the most pressing matter at the moment.”
He said providing aid to affected residents and areas because of Typhoon Ulysses should be prioritized, not his singing.
The official added that he, his family, and friends have been preparing to distribute aid to typhoon-hit residents.
“Having said this, let us go back to the most pressing matter at the moment, which is providing the much-needed assistance to our distressed brothers and sisters in the aftermath of typhoon Ulysses,” Roque said.
“As I speak, my family and I are preparing/repacking 600 bags of rice for donation in Alcala, Cagayan Valley where my friend and previous law partner and his family resides.”
Earlier, he said the public should not concern itself with looking for government officials amid a series of calamities, because they are doing their jobs.
#NasaanAngPangulo -- or "where is the President" -- became a hot topic on Twitter over the past few weeks as typhoons battered Luzon and the capital region, leaving a trail of devastation and massive floods.
DOH discourages videoke
Meanwhile, the Department of Health in late October released guidelines through its circular No. 2020-0355 advising limited face-to-face activities even during the holidays.
The DOH has discouraged the use of videoke machines during the holidays, saying similar activities could transmit the virus faster.
“Dito ipinakita [ang transmittal ng virus] kapag ikaw ay nagsasalita, na kapag ikaw ay humihinga, kapag ikaw ay umuubo at nakikita sa pag-aaral na ito na kapag ikaw ay kumakanta ito ang pinakamataas na load ng virus na puwede mong mai-transmit,” DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.
(The study showed the transmittal of the virus if you are talking, breathing, or coughing. It showed that the highest chance of transmitting the virus load is during the time when you are singing.)
— with a report from Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News