At a glance:
- Claim: Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque says poor people have no right to be choosy over COVID-19 vaccines because they are a burden to the government.
- Rating: FALSE
- The facts: Roque denied saying this. There are no statements or reports that prove he said this.
- Why we fact-checked this: This claim was emailed by Rappler readers for verification. Posts containing this claim were spotted through social media monitoring tool CrowdTangle.
Facebook users and pages are circulating a quote card falsely claiming that Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said poor people have no right to be choosy over COVID-19 vaccines since they are a burden to the government.
“I stand with my previous statement na walang karapatang maging choosy ang mga mahihirap. Pagkain nga wala silang pambili, bakuna pa kaya. Huwag mag-inarte kasi mahirap lang kayo at pabigat kayo sa gobyerno. Kasalanan niyo kung hanggang ngayon mahirap pa rin kayo, sa gobyerno niyo lahat inaasa ang pangangailangan ninyo. Bawal ang mag-inarte sa panahon ng pandemic,” the quote card read.
(I stand by my previous statement that the poor have no right to be choosy. They don’t have the money for food, much less for a vaccine. Do not be picky because you are poor and you are a burden to the government. It is your fault that you remain poor since you depend on the government for everything you need. You are not allowed to be picky in the time of a pandemic.)
This claim was emailed by Rappler readers for verification. Posts containing this claim were spotted through social media monitoring tool CrowdTangle.
The claim is false.
In a Facebook post, Roque dismissed this quote card as fake.
There are also no statements or reports that prove he said the quote in the false claim.
The style of the false graphic is similar to the style of quote cards published by GMA News. Upon checking the GMA News Facebook page, we found that the fake quote card copied the photo and description used in the news organization’s post but replaced the quote. GMA News’ quote card contains a quote from Roque’s January 11 press briefing.
The quote read: “Totoo po, mayroon tayong lahat na karapatan para sa mabuting kalusugan pero hindi naman po pupuwede na pihikan dahil napakaraming Pilipino na dapat turukan. Wala pong pilian, wala kasing pilitan.”
(It’s true that all of us have a right to good health, but we cannot be picky because there are so many Filipinos to be vaccinated. You cannot choose because we are not forcing you to get vaccinated.)
Roque earlier said health workers, elderly, and indigent persons who refuse the first available COVID-19 vaccine will lose their priority slot. (READ: Pfizer, Sinovac, AstraZeneca vaccines may arrive first in Philippines – Galvez) – Loreben Tuquero/Rappler.com
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