MANILA — Actress and philanthropist Angel Locsin, a visible figure in relief campaigns amid the coronavirus crisis, came to the defense of health workers on Monday, following President Rodrigo Duterte’s critical statements addressing them.
Duterte made the controversial remarks late Sunday as he responded to the medical community’s plea to revert Metro Manila to stricter lockdown measures, amid the ballooning COVID-19 cases in the capital region.
While he heeded the request, Duterte told health workers to do “soul-searching,” as he reminded them not to “demean the government.”
“Next time, you can ask for an audience. Pero ‘wag ho kayong magsigaw-sigaw, rebolusyon, rebolusyon," Duterte said.
In an Instagram Stories post on Monday, Locsin pertained to health workers being painted as the “enemy” of the government.
“Nung una, UP ang kalaban,” Locsin said, referring to the statement of presidential spokesperson Harry Roque about “beating” the University of the Philippines prediction of COVID-19 cases by the end of June.
“Ngayon naman health workers. Pagsuporta ang kailangan. Hindi pagsindak. COVID po ang kalaban. Hindi ang mamamayan,” Locsin wrote.
In another post hours prior, Locsin addressed frontline workers as she vowed to do her share of helping contain the spread of COVID-19.
“Patawad kung minsan ay pasaway. Ngunit nais iparating, kakampi niyo kami, health workers. Mag do-doble ingat para makagaan sa pasanin kahit paano. 'Wag sanang panghinaan ang inyong loob,” she said.
“Mahal namin kayo. Naka-suporta kami sa inyo. Kailangan namin kayo. Kayong mga bayani sa giyerang ito. Maraming salamat sa sakripisyo para sa amin.”
Since the onset of the pandemic in the country, Locsin has led or actively taken part in campaigns to bring aid to frontline workers and vulnerable sectors.
Notably, she spearheaded the government-lauded #UniTentWeStandPH, which provided additional room for coronavirus patients as well as temporary housing for medical workers in dozens of inundated hospitals.
Her most recent and ongoing initiative, Shop & Share, is raising funds to purchase coronavirus test kits specifically for underprivileged communities, with testing already rolling out as of late June.