Day x of pandemic, and the University of the Philippines vs. Malacañang saga slash UAAP rivalry continues to rage on. Remember that old adage “praise publicly, criticize privately”? Well, it’s now the new plea of internet meme connoisseur Harry Roque.
The presidential spokesperson urged experts from the university to stop publicizing their suggestions on the pandemic response and opt to “privately” communicate it to the government instead. Roque made the remarks after UP’s OCTA Research team recommended stricter lockdowns in some areas.
“I really appreciate the efforts of OCTA in helping us monitor COVID-19 cases. But I already requested them to desist from making recommendations on classification because this is really the work of experts,” he said. “I wish they would refrain from making these recommendations publicly.”
At a recent press briefing, Roque said that the OCTA team is working with “one or two epidemiologists,” while the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) was consulting more field experts.
The OCTA team had asked the government to consider localized lockdowns in areas like Bauan, Batangas; Calbayog, Western Samar and General Trias, Cavite because of increasing COVID-19 rates in the last two weeks.
“My suggestion is, if OCTA Research does not mind, if possible let’s do the recommendations privately through the IATF. We will forward it to the regional IATF if needed,” Roque added.
There you go, UP. Let’s keep it low-key and slide into Malacañang’s DMs instead. While the rest of the country might miss out on the hot tea (or hard facts), the government has to save some face left.
Photo from Harry Roque’s Facebook page