Speaker joins calls to stop discrimination vs COVID-19 patients, frontliners, OFWs

Alan Peter Cayetano

SPEAKER Alan Peter Cayetano on Saturday joined calls for some nitizens to stop the condemnable act of discriminating coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) patients, frontliners, and returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

In a press conference through Facebook live, Cayetano also warned those behind discrimination that their acts will be dealt with by the full force of the law.

“Itong discrimination brings out the worst in us. Let's remember po that panic, fear are as dangerous as the virus itself. Kung ‘yung takot, ‘yung worry, ‘yung uncertainty, at panic ang gagawin natin mas maraming mamamatay,” Cayetano responded to a question from veteran House reporter Billy Begas of Bandera.

Even Sen. Sonny Angara who immediately distanced himself from the public after the virus scare hit the Senate and later bravely admitted being COVID-19 positive was not spared from discrimination.

While expressing gratitude to the understanding of their neighbors who showed acts of kindness to them, Tootsy Angara, the senator’s wife, took to Instagram to disclose that “some have refused to deliver essentials to our home” and “a neighbor wished to have us out of our neighborhood.”

Cayetano asked the public to show more compassion and understanding to those who have been afflicted by the virus, stressing this would help government’s campaign to defeat the dreaded virus.

He said the public should be educated that frontliners are the most experienced people who know how to protect themselves and the people surrounding them from the virus.

“Itong mga health professionals natin, kaya nga po professionals, they know the protocol of how to keep safe. Kung uuwi sila sa bahay nila or sa dorm nila, ‘yung paghugas ng kamay and everything, alam nila ‘yan,” said Cayetano.

Cabinet Sec. Karlo Nograles, spokesperson of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), was emotional in issuing warning against acts of discrimination.(RPP)