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Jennylyn Mercado, Saab Magalona, more celebs lament treatment of LSIs in Rizal Memorial stadium

/ 01:30 PM July 27, 2020
Jennylyn Mercado, Saab Magalona, Ria Atayde

Jennylyn Mercado (L), Saab Magalona and Ria Atayde. Images: Facebook/Jennylyn Mercado, Saab Magalona, Ria Atayde

Jennylyn Mercado, Saab Magalona and fellow celebrities aired their dismay over the treatment of locally stranded individuals (LSIs) who were brought to the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex over the weekend.

“Nakakadurog ng puso to tignan… May mga bata at baby pa…” Mercado said on Twitter yesterday, July 26, in connection with an INQUIRER.net report on the situation at the stadium.

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(Looking at this can break hearts. There are even children and babies.)

The report showed people waiting at the stadium despite a strong downpour which resulted in ankle-deep flooding. While the crowds wore face masks, they were not able to follow social distancing measures as they tried to stay dry.

Magalona also expressed her sadness over the situation, saying, “Ang sakit sa puso ([This] hurts my heart).”

“Lalo na para sa mga magulang na may kasamang bata. Paano na?” she added. “Ano nang mangyayari sa ating kapwa Pinoy? Pandemya, ulan at walang kwentang pamamahala.”

(Especially for the parents who have children with them. What now? What will happen to our fellow Filipinos? Pandemic, rain and useless leadership.)

Ria Atayde echoed their statements, saying that the situation was not right.

“[P]asensya na, Pilipinas, hindi ka inaalagaan ng mga hinalal,” she stated.

(I’m sorry, Philippines, you are not being taken care of by those who were elected.)

Meanwhile, Karen Davila stressed that the situation should be prioritized before the charter change proposals.

“This is a serious planning issue,” she said. “Who is in charge?”

Singer Leah Navarro later described the crowding as “[h]eartbreaking, distressing [and] angering” while sharing photos of the stadium from Reuters.

“No social distancing, no transport, little hope,” she noted. “Clearly, the health and welfare of our people are not prioritized in the Duterte government.”

‘Sympathy and understanding’

Following the reactions to the situation on social media, assistant secretary Joseph Encabo of the presidential management staff asked the public for understanding. Encabo spoke as the lead convenor of “Hatid Tulong,” a transport assistance program for LSIs run by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

“We know that if ever we violated the issue of social distancing, we also need to show sympathy and understanding and care for our fellow Filipinos so that they could wait comfortably for their trips [back home],” he said.

DILG spokesperson, interior undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, added that they would try to send home all the stranded travelers at the stadium this weekend. He also assured others that the LSIs would undergo swab testing before being allowed to board the transportation prepared by the government. JB

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