Former Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque criticized the ‘yellows’ for trying to politicize the 2019 novel coronavirus by pushing President Rodrigo Duterte to be the first country to ban travelers from mainland China.
On Roque’s Facebook post, he claimed that only Filipinos seem to talk about politics in the middle of 2019-nCoV and don’t want to accept the decision of the government to wait for the World Health Organization’s (WHO) announcement before making such travel bans.
“Only in the Philippines will you see enemies of the administration politicizing even a public health crisis such as the novel coronavirus (nCoV). Sure, countries may have beaten us in banning all flights from Mainland China by a day or two. But as soon as the WHO (World Health Organization) declared the nCoV as an international public health emergency, the President followed suit and banned all flights originating from China, Macau and Hong Kong,” said Roque.
“The yellows, as usual, claimed it was our subservience to China that led to the belated banning. Rubbish. It was the science that led to the President’s decision. Without the WHO declaration, an earlier total ban on any contact with China would have been driven by hysteria or, worse, xenophobia,” he added.
“By banning flights from China after the WHO declaration, we only responded in the same manner as almost all countries in the world did. Yes, I’m sure our newfound friendship did count in PRRD’s decision. What is wrong with that? After all, as Filipinos, we know the true value of friendship.” he also said.
The lawyer then reminded the Filipino people that not only China is the country that brought a virus in the country.
Roque mentioned that the government didn’t ban the Americans to visit the Philippines during the H1N1 outbreak.
He insisted that the decision of the government to issue travel bans should be “based on science and not panic and hysteria”.
A few days ago, netizens criticized the current administration for not immediately issuing a travel ban on China.
Some Chinese who are already in the Philippines also reportedly received bad treatment from some Filipinos they encountered as they seen as a possible carrier of nCoV.