Año apologizes for Roque's outburst video: 'Dapat cool lang tayo'

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 14) — Interior Secretary Eduardo Año apologized to the health sector after presidential spokesperson Harry Roque was seen in a leaked video berating a group of doctors during last week's virtual meeting with the pandemic response task force.

"For me personally, I want to apologize to the health sector. That is an unfortunate event na hindi dapat nangyari (that should not have happened)," Año told CNN Philippines' The Source on Tuesday.

The video showed Roque lashing out at Philippine College of Physicians president Dr. Maricar Limpin after she made an emotional appeal to place the National Capital Region under lockdown as health workers were exhausted due to rising COVID-19 cases.

READ: Roque on calls to resign for berating doctors: Only the President can fire me 

In the video, Roque can be heard defending the government's pandemic response, saying they were trying to also look at the "economic ramifications" of enforcing lockdowns.

Año said he acknowledged Roque's argument, but he did not agree with the way the message was delivered to Limpin.

"If I may say, ‘yung sinabi ni Secretary Harry Roque, ‘pag titignan mo may mga valid argument doon. Ang problema doon is the manner it was delivered. Siyempre 'di ba kahit nasa government tayo, hindi iyon tinatawag na privilege para sigawan mo ang isang tao, magtaas ka ng boses."

[Translation: If I may say, Secretary Harry Roque raised some valid arguments. But the problem was the manner it was delivered. Of course, even if we are in the government service, it does not give us the privilege to shout or raise our voice towards another person.]

"Dapat cool lang tayo, let’s be open to all ideas in a professional manner. Iyon ‘yung para sa akin,” he added.

[Translation: We should keep our cool, be open to all ideas in a professional manner. That's my opinion.]

Año also said that the National Security Council and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency will also look into security measures that will prevent the leakage of videos of the pandemic response task force's virtual meetings.