By Tara Yap
ILOILO CITY – The stoning of the house of a family in Lambunao town, Iloilo, whose patriarch has died from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and five other family members were still being treated for the viral infection, was condemned by a local official.
“I strongly condemn the stoning of their family’s residence. They didn’t choose to get sick,” said Iloilo third district Provincial Board Member Jason Gonzales, who is a former mayor of Lambunao.
Last Friday night, stones were hurled at the residence of the family after news broke out that four more members tested positive for COVID-19. These were the 70-year-old mother, 48-year-old daughter, 41-year-old son, and 39-year-old daughter.
The 70-year-old patriarch had died from viral disease last March 29, while a 44-year-old daughter had also previously tested positive for COVID-19.
With the family giving consent that Mayor Reynor Gonzales can publicly divulge their names to make contact tracing easier Friday, this led to an unknown individual or individuals tracking down the residence and throwing stones at their house.
“They don’t need stones. They need help and understanding. Lambunao, we are better than this. May this crisis bring out the best in us,” appealed Board Member Gonzales.
Vice Mayor Arvin Losaria confirmed to Manila Bulletin the surviving family members were at the residence at the time of the stoning. Since they were asymptomatic, they were under strict home isolation until they could fully recover.