Cayetano defends bashed photo op

“NO, we’re not comparing ourselves to the frontliners.”

This was clarified by Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano after netizens criticized him and other lawmakers who posed for a photo with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea carrying a manila paper with a short message that read “Together with doctors and frontliners, we went to work for you, so please stay home for us.”

Many disliked the photo and the note comparing themselves to the frontliners who are risking their own lives while attending to the needs of the patients with coronavirus disease or COVID-19.

But Cayetano said the purpose of the photo op is just to remind the Filipinos that staying at home in this time of health crisis will save many lives.

The entire Luzon was placed under enhanced community quarantine and people are advised to stay home as much as possible to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Cayetano and 19 other lawmakers posed for the photo after opening the special session on Monday morning.

“No, we’re not comparing ourselves to the frontliners. Hats off kami, malayo. Ang mga frontlines, every single second they’re risking their lives. Kaya nga kami, we are just extending the message, stay home,” Cayetano said.

“Kung meron pong symptoms, isolate yourselves. Kung positive at kailangan na nasa hospital, pumunta na sa ospital,”  he added.

Cayetano lamented that many Filipinos are still not obeying the guidelines of the enhanced community quarantine like the social distancing.

“Marami pa rin sa ating kababayan ang hindi sumusunod sa social distancing. Medyo parang piyesta pa  sa kanilang lugar, nag-iinuman sa tabi and they don’t see that we can become dangerous to each other,” he added.