What your fave stars said about gov't coronavirus response
MANILA, Philippines – April 1, 2020 was a rollercoaster of a day for most Filipinos, the majority of whom are cooped up at home as different parts of the country remain under lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The day began with a video of police dispersing and arresting members of an urban poor community in Quezon City who staged a protest to demand government aid. Most of Sitio San Roque’s residents are low-wage earners who, more often than not, have gone without any source of income during the lockdown. Around 21 people were arrested.
Hours later, reports surfaced that the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) had summoned Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto for allegedly violating the Bayanihan Law – nevermind that his supposed infraction happened before the measure was enacted.
April 1 ended with an impromptu speech from President Rodrigo Duterte in the evening, where he ordered the police and military to shoot those who violate “enhanced community quarantine” rules.
The rage was palpable online, especially because Filipino celebrities – even those who aren’t usually open about their political views – raged online following the events of the day.
While it’s not unusual to see a celebrity give their 2 cents on social media, it’s admittedly rare to encounter those who are willing to speak truth to power. From wisecracking to instances of pure rage, here’s what the country’s celebrities – mostly personalities from the entertainment industry – had to say:
Donnalyn Bartolome is simple, walang arte – and tired of the tomfoolery.
12am na which means April 2 na, hindi na April fools day.. tama na ang kalokohan.— Donnalyn Bartolome (@DJBDonna) April 1, 2020
Angelica Panganiban is definitely not one to keep quiet. She's also not one to back down – even if your neighbor's WiFi is down. The actress first reacted to news of Vico's NBI summons.
Wala silang mapag initan. Si mayor vico talaga? Kung sino pa may natutulong at maayos na sistema, siya pa kakasuhan? HANEP! Eh nasan na yung nagkalat ng virus sa makati med? So far kasi yun palang nagagawa niya. Ikalat ang virus. Mapapamura ka na lang pala talaga.— Angelica Panganiban (@angelica_114) April 1, 2020
She was later called out for her previously supporting Duterte. She responded with an apology. "Yes. Nakakalungkot. Pero oo. Patawarin 'nyo ko (Yes. It's disappointing. But it's true. Please forgive me)," she said, responding to a screenshot of an old news article.
Yes. Nakakalungkot. Pero oo. Patawarin niyo ko.
Yes. Nakakalungkot. Pero oo. Patawarin niyo ko.— Angelica Panganiban (@angelica_114) April 1, 2020
Khalil Ramos, meanwhile, reminded users to stay vigilant over how the P275 billion earmarked for the government's coronavirus response will be used.
275B. Two hundred seventy five billion. 275,000,000,000. We have all the right to know how every single centavo will be spent. Wag niyo palusutin, Pilipinas!!!!— Khalil Ramos (@TheKhalilRamos) April 1, 2020
RK Bagatsing had both the funds – and the 2022 elections – in mind:
Sa lahat ng panloloko at pagkukulang ngayon, I’m sure alam nila na hindi na sila makakaulit sa susunod na eleksyon. SANA HINDI maging pang retirement fund nila yung P275B emergency fund para sa bayan.
Sa lahat ng panloloko at pagkukulang ngayon, I’m sure alam nila na hindi na sila makakaulit sa susunod na eleksyon. SANA HINDI maging pang retirement fund nila yung P275B emergency fund para sa bayan.— RK Bagatsing (@rkbagatsing) April 1, 2020
Maja Salvador channeled Ivy Aguas in calling for the same vigilance.
It's said that a crisis reveals a person's true character. Here's Janella Salvador's realization:
This pandemic showed us how unbelievably embarrassing our government is.— Janella Salvador (@superjanella) April 1, 2020
Please. Vote wisely next time.
Maris Racal said it was time to remove your rose-colored glasses.
REMOVE YOUR ROSE COLORED GLASSES, BANSA NATIN DUGUAN NA.— Maris Racal (@MissMarisRacal) April 1, 2020
Saab Magalona has no time for chill.
Seemingly responding to Duterte's threat, Chie Filomeno reminded his followers that in this country, the power should ultimately be with the people.
Wag na natin i-expect na ililigtas tayo ng tao na ang alam lang at gusto ay pumatay. We got this, Pilipinas. Sila dapat ang matakot sa atin.— Chienna Filomeno (@ChieFilomeno) April 1, 2020
Violence should never be an option during a pandemic. Go tell them, Lauren Young.
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?— Lauren Young (@loyoung) April 1, 2020
Pancit over threats, any time of the day.
Bat umabot na naman sa patayan? Di ba pwedeng batuhin nalang ng pancit canton, ganyan?— alessandra de rossi (@msderossi) April 1, 2020
New mom Anne Curtis, who's riding out the pandemic in Australia, also called on officials to focus on what matters the most – making Filipinos feel safe during a crisis.
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
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— Anne Curtis-Smith (@annecurtissmith) April 1, 2020
The internet's "president," Nadine Lustre, in true IG-queen fashion, gave her 2 cents via stories. "COVID exposed the government for what it really is. The people need help, compassion (minus Koko), and transparency, not threats and lies," she said.
It was truly a long day, and most of us might have related the most to Janine Gutierrez who had no words left to say.
Well, that was..........
Well, that was..........— JANINE (@janinegutierrez) April 1, 2020
While it’s tempting to dismiss these posts as mere drops in the ocean, you can’t discount the fact that being a celebrity in the Philippines (and everywhere else, really) means influence.
And in trying times, it certainly doesn’t hurt when people with a platform and the right influence amplify important messages. – Rappler.com