Thai news website puts Roque’s photo on health protocols

Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) – December 21, 2020 – 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A Thai news website included an animated photo of presidential spokesman Harry Roque in its reminder about observing health protocols against COVID-19.

In a tweet posted yesterday, the Thai Enquirer reminded its readers to wash their hands constantly, always wear masks, observe social distancing, listen to government announcements and avoid taking unnecessary risks.

Below the message was an animated gif showing Roque raising his fists, a scene lifted from one of his Palace press briefings.

He was standing behind a podium with signs that read “wear mask,” “wash hands” and “keep distance.”

“We have no idea who this person is,” the Thai Enquirer said in a separate tweet.

“We used the gif because he’s round and Asian!!”

Some Twitter users informed the news website that the person in the photo was the spokesman for the Philippine president.

Thai Enquirer replied with “Oops!”

Other users claimed Roque’s photo was not appropriate for the reminder because of his supposed violation of health protocols.

They cited Roque’s attendance at an event in Bantayan Island that failed to observe physical distancing.

Roque said it was “encouraging” that the foreign media, specifically Thai Enquirer, has taken notice of the Philippine government’s minimum public health standards advocacy campaign.

“Indeed, COVID-19 knows no borders, as the Thai news website succinctly puts it, ‘We’re all in this together,’” the Palace spokesman said in a statement.

“The fact that the Philippine government’s advocacy campaign has caught international attention underscores how effective our message is – which we articulate in every press briefing and which we prominently display on the podium – in conveying that we must adhere to such health standards aimed at saving lives and protecting the communities,” he added.

He reminded the public to continue the wearing of face masks and face shields, frequent handwashing and maintaining physical distance during the holiday season.

In a recent briefing, Roque assured the public that he has learned his lesson from his attendance in the Bantayan event.

He also claimed that he had scolded members of the audience for failing to follow the protocol on physical distancing.

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