By Czarina Nicole Ong-Ki
Twitter is abuzz with the hashtag #BoycottLigoPhilippines amidst the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. But why is there such a heated furor against one of the country’s leading canned sardines manufacturers?
The brouhaha started when the company’s Vice President for Operations Mikko Lawrence Tung posted in his personal Facebook account that the company will not be coursing any donations through the government and urged others to do the same.
“Ligo Sardines will be making its donations directly to the hospitals, and different NGOs leading the fight against COVID-19,” he wrote. “Let us learn from our mistakes. I urge all my friends from the private sector to do the same. Do not give it to these [clowns]. We will do a lot more good on our own, than trusting our donations with the government. This is theft right before our very eyes.”
While many netizens were pleased with his statement and lauded the company’s donation drive, many others were upset that he took a jab against the government and its officials.
Tung issued a clarification, stating that his earlier post does not reflect the company’s views. “To all my friends on Facebook, I would like to clarify that the opinions I post on my private accounts reflect my personal opinions and mine alone. They do not in any way reflect that of the Ligo Brand and the company,” he wrote.
“Ligo is committed to serve and aid the Filipino people during these trying times. May we all get through this together by God’s grace,” he added.
#BoycottLigoPhilippines continues to trend on Twitter, with netizens sharing different sentiments.
“You only boycott the product if there are labor issues and if the workers said so. no to #boycottligosardines !!!” one supporter commented.
“#boycottligosardines? Whatever for?! Ligo Sardines are tasty, affordable, and the company owners are socially responsible! Mabuhay ang (Long live) Ligo Sardines!” another added.
In contrast, those upset with Tung and the company wrote: “Boycotting @LigoSardinesPH isn’t bcoz we’re DDS (Duterte supporters), it [is] a matter of PRINCIPLE and moral compass.”
“I won’t buy products endorsed by those who advocate destabilizing or discrediting the government especially while we’re battling this virus,” another wrote.