On March 26, congressman and presidential son Paolo Duterte apologized publicly for his son’s inappropriate conduct during the incident that happened inside the SnR grocery establishment. According to reports, his son, Omar Duterte, 26 years old, admitted and also apologized that he made a mistake upon bypassing the hand sanitation protocol of SnR as part of the safety measures to the current worldwide Covid-19 health crisis. The SnR’s “customer hand-washing rules” are in line with the country’s quarantine protocols for the said crisis, ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte, together with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) under the Department of Health (DOH).
In a statement from the reports, Paolo said “Omar went to SnR Davao and he did not line up to conduct the stringent screening requirements of the establishment. It is with humility that I apologize for the behavior of Omar and his impertinence shall be dealt with accordingly.” In addition to this, it was also reported that the security team accompanying Omar have also committed mistake or misconduct against the “enhanced community quarantine” and will be going to be investigated by the Presidential Security Group.
The country’s response to the situation has seem become more stringent since many reports telling power abuses, inconsistencies, and also the citizens’ reaction to the lockdown or the enhanced quarantine. Many government officials have been questioned and criticized while others silently followed the protocols regarding self-isolation and limited movements. Meanwhile, other politicians have also been highly criticized by the public, even by doctors and hospital staffs themselves, like Senator Aquilino Pimentel III, as to how they seriously violated the Covid-19 protocols. Meanwhile, an incident involving policemen was caught on video shot by a witness also took the attention of thousands of netizens’ eye on social media. The video showing these police officers “cursing, threatening, and hurting” residents of a Muslim compound in Quiapo, in relation to the country’s quarantine protocols. According to reports, the Philippine National Police (PNP) officials has already stated that the policemen who did this are now being investigated and will be dealt accordingly.
Meanwhile on March 27, Omar posted a statement on his Facebook page, giving his voice about the incident while also making apologies for what he had committed. On this post, Omar explained that “they did not wash or sanitize their hands because they’ve already followed proper hand hygiene by the time they arrived at SnR and they’re also wearing gloves” and therefore, there is no reason to wash his hands.
According also to Omar, “The staff of SnR even insisted we enter due to them seeing we already had put on gloves and followed proper hand sanitation. Although I personally would have laughed at the idea of washing hands in front of people while not a moment ago they just saw us putting on gloves and washing them. It seems that some people took the protocols to the letter that even latex gloves aren’t enough to prevent the virus from infecting our hands within those gloves. To those people who felt I should have followed protocol whilst being fully gloved, I’m sorry. If I had known that it shouldn’t be seen as comedic to wash your hands moments after putting on gloves, I would have gladly just washed my hands and followed the protocol. I know this is not a laughing matter and for this, I cannot begin to express the great feeling of remorse of not following the protocols thinking that the gloves were enough. For this, I’m sorry”.