Celebrities speak out, help via social media

MANILA. Sitio San Roque in Barangay Bagong Pag-asa in Quezon City is an urban poor community of around 6,000 in North Triangle. (Photo from Save San Roque Twitter)
MANILA. Sitio San Roque in Barangay Bagong Pag-asa in Quezon City is an urban poor community of around 6,000 in North Triangle. (Photo from Save San Roque Twitter)

CELEBRITY Simone Francesca Emmanuelle “Kakie” Pangilinan has offered to bail out one of the 21 protesters from Sitio San Roque, Barangay Bagong Pag-asa in Quezon City who were arrested by the police for gathering along Edsa and demanding for the food aid that was promised by the government.

Pangilinan made the offer in a Twitter post in reply to Bagong Alyansang Makabayan secretary general Renato Reyes Jr., who said each protester needed P15,000 for bail.

“I’ll sponsor one. Please give the details,” she tweeted.

Pangilinan also said her parents, minority Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan and actress Sharon Cuneta, will bail out the other 20 protesters.

The young Pangilinan is among several celebrities who have spoken out via Twitter and helped address the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak in the country.

Their tweets have drawn thousand of likes, from roughly 20,000 to 150,000 each. These have also been retweeted thousands of times.

Actress and television host Anne Curtis-Heusaff expressed support for the protesters, saying they were “left with no choice.”

“People are getting sick, people are hungry, people are tired, people are scared. The main focus should be on the true enemy right now, which is COVID-19. I pray everyone can work together & concentrate on what TRULY MATTERS - the well-being & protection of the Filipino people,” she said.

This drew more than 142,000 likes and nearly 40,000 retweets.

Actress Alessandra de Rossi gained more than 100,000 likes and over 22,000 retweets for this post, “Bat umabot na naman sa patayan? Di ba pwedeng batuhin nalang ng pancit canton, ganyan?”

Actress Kim Chiu appealed to the national government, saying that the rally would not have taken place had the citizens been given attention.

“Ang hirap ng sitwasyon ng mga tao ngayon. Papasok na ang 3rd week of the community quarantine. Hindi dapat hulihin or bugbugin ang kailangan kausapin, they will not be doing those things kung nabibigyan sila ng tamang atensyon and support from the local government,” she tweeted.

Her post gained at least 56,000 likes and more than 14,000 retweets.

Television host Kristina “KC” Concepcion, eldest daughter of Cuneta, also tweeted, “Patayan agad agad ang pinagusapan? Ano ba yan. Di ba pwedeng... pan de sal, pansit, bitamina nalang?”

This drew more than 24,500 likes and was retweeted more than 3,200 times.

Actress Lauren Young received about 20,000 likes and around 6,000 retweets for this post, “Takot na nga yung mga tao because of this virus. Their own government is depriving them of food, their officials are MIA, one was parading about without following guidelines and you have the nerve to scare them even more with violence? WHY? How is that helpful?”

For vlogger and actress Alex Gonzaga, the incident was a wake up call for the government.

“So sad and heart-breaking to see what happened in Sitio San Roque. This is a wake up call for the government. The people really need you. Step up na tayo lahat para sa bayanihan,” she said, drawing nearly 23,000 likes and more than 3,000 retweets.

Actress Maris Racal posted two tweets that each received more than 130,000 likes and more than 32,000 retweets.

“Positive na sukang suka na sa government. good people are outnumbered,” she said in one tweet that was liked more than 132,000 times.

“Remove your rose colored glasses, bansa matin duguan na,” she said in another, which gained more than 130,000 likes and retweeted over 32,000 times.

She also posted about her donation drive, which has raised P600,000 as of April 1.

“As of April 1, we have already collected more than ₱600,000.00! Thank you to the donors, this will greatly help our frontliners in Tagum City. But we need more help as we want to reach more hospitals. If you want to help, know that we are still accepting donations,” she said.

Actress Angel Locsin, who is likened to her erstwhile superhero character “Darna”, has been helping provide tents for triage services of hospitals.

“Sa ngayon, may eleven hospitals, total of 22 hospital tents na po tayong naipapatayo nang dahil sa donasyon at malasakit po ninyo. 38 more hospitals to go (as of April 1),” she said, drawing more than 45,000 likes and almost 5,000 retweets.

In a previous post, she said Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III should be summoned by the National Bureau of Investigation for violating quarantine rules, not Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto.

Actress Nadine Lustre also posted her stand on Instagram stories.

“Covid exposed the government for what it really is. The people need help, compassion, and transparency. Not threats and lies,” Lustre said.

The 21 protesters arrested in Quezon City have been brought to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit (CIDU) and will be face multiple charges, according to Quezon City Police Chief Ronnie S. Montejo.

They were accused of violating RA 11469 or the Bayanihan To Heal As One Act, RA 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act) in Relation to RA 922, and violation of Art. 151 (Resistance and Disobedience to a Person in Authority or Agents).

A group called Save San Roque, which is raising funds to help the protesters, said the residents braved the risk of contracting the novel coronavirus to “demand action” from the local government of Quezon City.

“With the lockdown in place, work has stopped, and with a sudden lack of income, many residents have been left hungry and waiting for relief that is yet to come,” they said.

“While social distancing measures are in place to maintain public safety, food and nutrition for all is just as much a matter of the safety and welfare of citizens. Arrests and a violent dispersal is not the answer to the unrest and anxiety of the people. Rather, the root of their problems must be addressed, and their needs rightfully attended to,” they said.

Metro Manila and the entire Luzon is under a one-month enhanced community quarantine until April 14 as a measure to stop the spread of the new coronavirus, which causes the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

Public transportation systems have been suspended, most of the business activities have ceased and informal workers have lost their source of livelihood. (SunStar Philippines)


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