By Nehmia Elyxa Relano

PHOTO: RTVM Screenshot

In response to calls for him to resign after his outburst against medical doctors during a meeting of the government’s COVID-19 task force, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said on Monday that only President Rodrigo Duterte has the authority to fire him.

“Nasa Presidente po ‘yan. Unfortunately, only the president can fire me.” Roque said in a press briefing when asked about his reaction to Dr. Maricar Limpin’s statement that he should be withdrawn from his position.

Roque chastised Limpin, head of the Philippine College of Physicians, during a pandemic task force meeting last week, prompting the calls. 

The incident was captured on video and was leaked on social media.

Roque was seen on camera berating Limpin after the physician pleaded to put the National Capital Region on lockdown because hospital employees are now weary due to mounting COVID-19 cases caused by the highly dangerous Delta variant.

He also accused Limpin and her group of constantly criticizing the administration’s pandemic response.

However, Limpin said Roque’s outburst was “really uncalled for” and “unprofessional.”

“We were there as representatives of the healthcare workforce. Therefore, if he has to apologize, he has to apologize to the whole healthcare workforce dahil ang ginawa is against all of us in healthcare sector,” she stated.

Moreover, Roque apologized if he upset anyone with how he spoke, but he stood by his message.

Report sources: CNN Philippines, GMA News