Presidential mouthpiece Harry Roque has taken the cudgels on behalf of the IATF which is being criticized for the rise of COVID-19 cases.
In his recent statement, Roque said it’s not the IATF’s fault that the COVID-19 virus mutated to different variants which were proven to be more contagious.
“Tanggapin natin o hindi, nagmutate po ang mga virus at hindi po siguro kasalanan ng IATF na nagmutate ang mga virus sa pamamaraan na mas nakakahawa sila,” Roque said.
Roque defended the IATF saying it is composed of the best and brilliant minds of government and that they’ve successfully managed the COVID-19 pandemic. Roque even called the country’s response to the pandemic as “excellent.”
The Philippines has logged its highest daily COVID-19 case on Monday, March 22 at 8,109. Because of that Netizens and government critics pointed out the incompetence of the IATF resulted in the surge.
Senators Imee Marcos and Tito Sotto even called for the abolition of the IATF.
In an online interview, Marcos said it’s time to abolish the IATF and start from scratch since it’s evident that they have no plans.
“Ibuwag na ‘yung IATF. Start from scratch na lang po tayo, tutal klarong-klaro na walang plano.
“Panahon na na buwagin na ‘yung IATF. Magumpisa na tayo sa totoo na medical na science-based [approach] na talagang makakatulong sa tao.
“The handling has been inept and unduly difficult for the Filipino people.
“Dapat mga doctor mga public health experts, ‘yung talagang nakakaintindi nito at sila ang magdi-diretso ng policy,” Marcos said.
Senate President Tito Sotto meanwhile agreed and said they should abolish since they mishandled the pandemic response.
“I concur with that…. kung ganito lang na hindi lang naha-handle ng matino,” said Sotto.
Meanwhile, Roque claimed that criticisms against the IATF are just part of politics since the 2022 election is forthcoming.
“We are not washing our hands. There is this challenge of rising cases that’s why we decided to put Metro Manila inside a bubble for two weeks.
“Ang aming pakiusap lang sa taongbayan, huwag ‘nyo kalimutan kasi maraming gustong mahalal at pinagsasamtalahan ang lahat.
“We know that because of human experience. ‘Pag panahon talaga ng eleksyon, lahat ginagawan ng isyu,” Roque said.
Currently, there were three variants detected in the country, Brazil, South Africa, and the Philippine variants which were attributed to the rise in COVID-19 cases.
It was the IATF’s mandate to enforce measures to contain or stop the entry of these variants but they still managed to enter and spread in the country.