Anthony Taberna and Gerry Baja, hosts of DZRH’s Dos Por Dos, responded to the statement of the Department of Health (DOH) reprimanding the radio station for allowing the spread of vaccine misinformation.
In their show Thursday, August 12, the radio hosts took turns explaining why they allowed Dr. Romeo Quijano to claim that COVID-19 vaccines can cause more harm than the virus itself.
Taberna clarified that the purpose they invited Quijano to their show was to give light on children’s vaccination and to provide options for the unvaccinated population.
“Eh ang sadya talaga natin sa kanya kahapon eh tungkol sa pagpapabakuna ng mga bata. Yun ang isa at s’yempre yung iba pang mga options no’ng mga hindi nababakunahan,” Taberna explained.
They, too, were surprised to hear that Dr. Quijano, a retired professor of the University of the Philippines College of Medicine was an anti-vaxxer.
“Eh ang entrada ni doc eh hindi raw s’ya magpapabakuna dahil masama daw yung bakuna!” continued Taberna.
But because of their respect toward the doctor, they let him air his thoughts.
“So gusto lang naming klaruhin na hindi naman namin sabihin na ‘ah gano’n ba? Tigilan na natin ‘tong interbyu na’to eh ikaw pala doc eh may toyo!’ Sasabihin ba naman sa kanya ‘yon? Eh hindi tama iyon.
“Kung papaano po s’ya tumanggap sa aming tawag, na maayos n’yang tinanggap ang tawag namin, eh rerespetuhin din namin ang kanyang kalayaan na magsalita.”
Taberna’s co-host Baja, then added, “At ibinigay natin sa kanya ang lahat nang pagkakataon para maipaliwanag n’ya at masuportahan n’ya yung kanyang paninindigan at kanyang paniniwala.”
Their response came after the DOH released a statement on August 12 condemning the spread of false information about Covid-19 vaccines by medical professionals.
The health agency also slammed DZRH for being “irresponsible” as they “allow such professionals to use their platforms to spread baseless information that stood to harm Filipinos, especially those who are in the process of deciding to get vaccinated.”
Meanwhile, the explanation of Taberna and Baja earned the ire of Netizens as they were dissatisfied by the inaction of the radio hosts to try and reasoned with a medical doctor who is an anti-vaxxer.
i listened to the interview of Dr. Quijano w Gerry Baja and Anthony Taberna at @DZRH. baja and taberna just let this doctor go on and on saying false information without being challenged by them. both didn’t try to correct the misinformation the doctor was saying.
— WhatAWasteofAdMoney (@wawam) August 12, 2021
Others even recalled the time that the radio hosts were against the dengue vaccine Dengvaxia.
Coincidence lang ba na itong sina Anthony Taberna at Gerry Baja, na nang-interview ng anti-vaxxer na doktor, ay sila ring todo-kontra noon sa Dengvaxia? Ha. Nakakahiya talaga. @dzrhnews @tunyings_kaindo
— Hiraya Murakami (@dummysinasabi) August 13, 2021
A twitter personality found similarities from Taberna and Baja to Noli De Castro and Ted Failon who faced a somewhat similar situation during the Dengvaxia controversy.
Some even called Taberna and Baja DDS and were thankful that they were not with ABS-CBN anymore.
Taberna and Baja mga doble kara.. Akala nila gagaling nila..Good thing wala na sila ABS CBN..
— Merle Rimando (@MerleRimando) August 13, 2021
A netizen and some medical professionals ridiculed Taberna and Baja for allowing an anti-vaxxer in their show for the sake of ratings.
— cj bautista (@cjbauti27773557) August 13, 2021
Itong si Taverna at Baja, accomplice din eh no? Dami na ngang problema, dumagdag pa para lang sa ratings? Tapos may paghuhugas ng kamay ngayon?
— Winlove Mojica, MD (@theskinsensei) August 12, 2021
Misrepresenting the interviewee was clearly a ploy to paint a credible rebuttal to vaccine efficacy and safety. Aminin natin, hindi magkakaroon ng malaking traction ang interview kung walang big name institution name dropping na naganap.
— Carlo Trinidad, MD (@hellokidneyMD) August 12, 2021
As of this writing, the confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines have already reached 1.7 million, with 29, 838 deaths, and 1.5 million recoveries.