President Rodrigo Duterte admitted he doesn’t wear face masks often, joking that he’s not a bandit to do so.
The chief executive in his February 24 speech was talking about being “criticized” for not following his own appeal for Filipinos to wear face masks during a coronavirus pandemic.
“Ako naman, I’ve been criticized. Tama kayo na ‘ito si Duterte nagsasalita, hindi naman sinusunod.’ Tama kayo. ‘Na hindi naman nagma-mask.’ Tama kayo. Eh hindi ho ako holdupper na sanay magsalita nitong naka-(face mask) kaya tinatanggal ko,” Duterte said.
“Now, I run the risk of, baka ako madale rin. Ah, may vice president man, siya na ang susunod,” he added.
Despite not wanting to wear a mask himself, Duterte said Filipinos should follow the minimum health protocols while waiting for the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccines from other countries.
“In the meantime, you just better follow government at iwasan… Iyong mask, ito. Ito, it can save you a lot of trouble and expense. Simple lang ito,” he added as he grabbed a face mask near him and then proceeded to do a short demonstration of wearing it.
“Sabagay, ‘yong mga holdupper hindi na masyado mahirapan. Sanay na ang mga animal na ganito eh. Ito lang,” Duterte said as he continued to hold the face mask.
Saying he sees people exposing their noses, Duterte also appealed for everyone to wear their face masks properly.
Duterte also hypothesized how others wear it over their eyes—something he even demonstrated. “Hay buhay,” he added with a short laugh.
A news outlet took a screengrab of it and then juxtaposed it with Duterte’s quote admitting he doesn’t follow his own words when it comes to wearing face masks.
A Twitter user saw this and quipped that following Duterte’s suggestion, everyone who could speak with face masks on could be “holduppers.”
so holdupper po kame dahil nakakapagsalita kame while wearing mask? https://t.co/iq8ScvGVfB
— V (@_heyitsme_ian) February 25, 2021
A Reddit user asked if Duterte had “stereotyped doctors, nurses and surgeons as potential holduppers” following his remarks about face masks.
Healthcare workers usually wear surgical face masks as part of their duty for hygiene and protective purposes since they are the ones regularly exposed to different kinds of bacteria and viruses.
It also serves as protection from potentially harmful or toxic fluids that may enter their nose and/or mouth while they are performing their duties.
Face masks have been a required item of use in public places since April 2020, a month after Duterte first imposed a strict lockdown on Luzon.
The item protects one from respiratory droplets and aerosols containing viral particles, which is how the coronavirus disease mainly spreads.