Actor Jason Abalos called out the government after the Palace remarked that President Rodrigo Duterte‘s dangerous recommendation of disinfecting face masks with gasoline or diesel was only a “joke.”
Without dropping any names, the Kapuso actor on Friday morning tweeted that he voted hoping for “change,” not for foolery.
“Namatay ang kaibigan kong pediatric surgeon dahil sa COVID-19, tapos may panahon pa kayong mag joke?? Pagbabago ang ginusto ko nong binoto kita hindi panggagago!” he wrote.
Duterte’s presidential campaign slogan was the phrase “change is coming” as he vowed to make radical changes in the government before winning the votes of around 16 million Filipinos in 2016.
Meanwhile, Abalos’ friend was Dr. Leandro Resurreccion III, a renowned pediatric surgeon who passed away in April due to complications caused by the COVID-19.
Reports note he worked with the Philippine General Hospital and was a consultant for various other hospitals like the Philippine Children’s Medical Center, where he was the head of the Pediatric Surgery Division.
Resurreccion was the neighbor of Abalos with whom he shared a passion for motorcycles.
The actor previously wrote a tribute post for him on Instagram, where he said that the physician was a “good father” who always talked about his children and how proud he was of them.
“Mabait na tatay si Doc Jun, pag nag kwentuhan kami sa buhay, malalaman mo sa mga kwento niya kung gaano siya ka proud sa mga anak niya,” Abalos said.
On Thursday, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said that Duterte was merely joking when he gave the advice to disinfect face masks with gasoline or diesel.
“Kayo naman apat na taon na si presidente, parang hindi niyo pa kilala si presidente,” Roque said in a press briefing.
“Joke only! Bakit naman tayo maghuhugas ng gasolina,” he added.
However, Roque said that Duterte was serious when the latter mentioned that he would distribute free face masks, especially to the underprivileged.
The chief executive in a televised national address aired Tuesday remarked that Filipinos disinfect their face masks with Lysol or soak it in gasoline or diesel.
Some social media users likened it to United States President Donald Trump‘s suggestion on injecting disinfectants to the body in a supposed bid to cure COVID-19.
Health Department Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire similarly dismissed Duterte’s remarks about face masks and said that it could’ve been a “joke.”
“Alam niyo naman pag nagsasalita si Presidente, baka iyong mga jokes lang niya iyon, especially for gasoline,” she said on Wednesday.
However, Vergeire reminded the public that only face masks made out of fabric can be reused while surgical ones needed to be disposed of after single use.
The World Health Organization noted that cloth masks needed to be washed with soap or detergent, preferably in hot water, at least once a day.
As of July 23, more than 74,000 people in the Philippines have been infected with COVID-19, wherein 48,136 are active cases.
Fatalities stand at 1,871 while those who have recovered are at 24,383.