Experts, scientists get Robredo’s support after Antiporda’s ‘bayaran’ remark

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo rallied behind the country’s scientists and experts after government officials asked them to refrain from publishing their quarantine recommendations and after being tagged as “bayaran” (paid people) over their supposed multi-million consultation fees.

“‘Di ba iyong research nga, dapat nalalaman ng tao? Dapat nalalaman ng tao, kasi public data naman iyong research,” Robredo said during her weekly radio show.


(Isn’t it that research should be known by the people? The public should know because research is public data.)

“Ang nakikita ko lang na dahilan kung bakit ililihim, hindi susundin iyong datos, iyong pagdedesisyon hindi nakasunod sa datos,” she added.


(The only reason I see for keeping it a secret is when the decision made did not follow the data.)

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque asked the OCTA Research Group which is composed of experts from the University of the Philippines (UP) and the University of Santo Tomas to instead relay their recommendations to the government’s COVID-19 task force instead of making them public.

Roque said this was to let President Rodrigo Duterte make decisions without pressure from the public.

Also last week, UP experts became the subject of Environment Undersecretary Benny Antiporda’s ire for allegedly charging millions in consultation fees.

Antiporda later apologized for his “bayaran” remark against the UP experts, saying he was carried away by his emotion at that time.

“Totally uncalled for…Hindi dini-deserve noong grupo iyong pambabastos na ginawa sa kanila,” Robredo said.

(Totally uncalled for…The group does not deserve the rude treatment they got.)


“Kahit nag-apologize na, tingin ko hindi talaga maganda. Hindi magandang example, hindi magandang pag-uugali, iyong kapag napipikon ka nakakapagsabi ka ng mga bagay na dapat hindi mo sinasabi,” she added.

(Even if he apologized, I don’t think it set a good example. It is bad manners to say things you should have not just because you were upset.)


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