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Harry Roque loses temper while discussing mass testing in press briefing

Roque berated a news reporter over mass testing statements.

Malacanang spokesman Harry Roque wasn’t able to control his temper during a live press briefing at the palace.

The presidential spokesman appeared visibly irate as he berated CNN Philippines reporter Triciah Terada for her report on Roque’s statement regarding mass testing.

According to him, he needed to call out Trish for misinterpreting what he said about the government’s plan on mass testing.

“Mali kasi yung term na ginamit mo kaya tuloy nagkagulo sa Twitter. Kasi lumalabas Trish sa report mo eh wala tayong expanded testing program, wala tayong kahit anong programa sa gobyerno na hindi naman totoo,” Roque said

“But again, I have to say it ano..I cannot do my job without….Sabi nang lahat wag ko na daw pansinin Trish no. Hindi, I have to call you out, kita mo naman yung naging resulta ng inyong reporting at ikaw lang ang nagreport na ganyan. Buti sana kung lahat ng Malacanang pres corps, nagreport ng ganyan, I would say ako nagkamali, pero you took my statements out of context. Nagpanic ang publiko,” he added.

In a previous presscon, which was carried out by CNN Philippines on their website, Roque was quoted to have said that the government has no plan on mass testing like what was done in Wuhan.

“As much as possible, ini-increase natin ang capacity ng testing kaya nga we’re aiming na aabot tayo sa 30,000 (a day), pero in terms sa mass testing na ginagawa ng Wuhan na all 11 million (residents), wala pa pong ganyang programa at iniiwan natin ‘yan sa pribadong sektor,” Roque said in a Malacañang press briefing.

Meanwhile, GMA reporter, Joseph Morong defended the CNN reporter during his time to question Roque.

Morong said to be fair to Trish, he read the transcript of what Roque said and indeed the Palace spokesman said there is no plan for the government to do mass testing.

Meanwhile, Roque clarified his statement saying mass testing is a wrong term and it should be expanded targeted testing. He further explained that no country in the world that have tested all of its population.

“Unang-una, siguro po kasi mali yung ginagamit nating term na mass testing, ang tawag po dapat ay expanded targeted testing. Wala pong bansa sa buong mundo na tinetest ang lahat ng kanilang mamamayan,” he said.

“Ang susi sa testing ay work on benchmarks, ibig pong sabihin 1-2 percent of the population of the entire country or in the case of an epicenter, even higher, up to 10 percent. Yan po ang ninanais natin sa Metro Manila.

“In an ideal world, dapat po lahat ng tao ma-testing pero alam ninyo ang hirap na nga nitong PCR testing no, 30 pa lang labs natin ang gusto natin mangyari hindi bababa sa 90 ‘yang PCR testing centers natin,” he added



Although, calls for mass testing from the different sectors is not a call to test all the population. What many are asking is mass testing of all symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals who have been or living on areas greatly affected by COVID-19.

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