Roque won’t sue ‘BFF’ Gwen Garcia over Cebu testing protocols
MANILA, Philippines — Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on Monday denied that he had plans of pressing charges against Cebu governor Gwendolyn Garcia, who he called his BFF (short for best friend forever) for veering away from the national government’s testing policy on returning Filipinos.
Under the protocols set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), returning Filipinos should be tested seven days after their arrival in the country. In Cebu, however, Garcia claimed they have their own set of rules with regards to returning Filipinos in terms of undergoing COVID-19 testing upon arrival.
“Tungkol po kay Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia, wala pong katotohanan ang mga lumalabas na report na may plano ako kasama di umano si Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra na magsampa po ng kaso laban kay Governor Gwen Garcia,” Roque said in an online briefing.
(Regarding Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia, there’s no truth that I have a plan along with Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra to file charges against Governor Gwen Garcia.)
President Rodrigo Duterte and Garcia are set to meet this Monday to discuss protocols for returning Filipinos in the province.
“Napakahirap pong mag-kaso ako laban kay Governor Gwen dahil unang una, hindi po yan kasama sa katungkulan ko bilang isang spox. Laway lang po ako bilang spox,” Roque said.
(It’s hard to file a case against Governor Gwen because first of all, it’s not part of my duty as spox. I only speak as spox.)
Roque further admitted that even if he was given such powers, it would be hard for him to sue his friend.
“Pangalawa po, miski ako po ay bigyan ng ganyang kapangyarihan, alam naman po ng marami na mag-BFF kami ni Governor Gwen at hindi ko po magagawa yun. Siguro po ibang tao ang gagawa nun kung kinakailangan,” he said.
(Second, even if I have that power, many people know Governor Gwen and I are BFFs, I cannot do that. Maybe another person will do it if needed.)
Roque said he believes the protocol in Cebu was only an “innovation” when the province had no sufficient beds for isolation.
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