Well, look what the cat…erm, dolphins dragged in.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque made waves on social media after a Subic Bay resort shared photos of him taking a dip with the park’s dolphins, despite a Metro Manila-wide quarantine which prohibits non-essential travel.
Ocean Adventure Park’s photos, which were grabbed and shared before they were deleted, showed Roque grinning ear to ear while surrounded by four friendly sea creatures. Meanwhile, two other photos show the spokesman interacting with a few of the resort’s staff, most of whom were not wearing face masks. Roque himself appeared sans a face mask in all of the viral photos.
The Zambales park, which thanked the cabinet secretary for visiting, said in its post that is gradually reopening the water resort to its guests. Ocean Adventure could not be reached for comments.
Naturally, the photos drew flak from Filipinos, who questioned how the spokesman could justify such a fun, carefree excursion while the rest of the country is suffering through the pandemic, with user @kimxnunez tweeting, “Harry Roque is living the life, just swimming with the dolphins.”
Roque defended himself yesterday saying that the images were taken when he visited the resort after inspecting a private property in Bataan province on Wednesday, which, like Subic, has been placed under the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ). Areas under MGCQ are allowed to resume tourism operations at half capacity.
Bataan is three hours away from Zambales.
Sarap ng life ni Harry Roque ah pa swim swim lang with the Dolphins pic.twitter.com/Lj4Uyzg5AA
— kim (@thatawkwardkim) July 1, 2020
Roque said that he was considered an “authorized person outside residence” because he has business in the area and therefore was allowed to make the travel. He did not, however, elaborate on what the business was.
The spokesman added that Subic was allowed to receive tourists, and he was the only visitor in Ocean Adventure at the time.
Roque’s exclusive-resort-access, dolphin-dipping trip comes just days after he made a notorious congratulatory comment about the Philippines beating a killer virus, which was naturally met with eyebrow-raising disbelief.
Leading many to poke fun at the spokesman, posting mocking memes like the video below.