Pasay councilor in viral video makes amends

By Dhel Nazario

The Pasay councilor who recently went viral on social media for his actions towards health workers has apologized during a meeting called by the city mayor.

(Screencap photo via Dhel Nazario / MANILA BULLETIN) (Screencap photo via Dhel Nazario / MANILA BULLETIN)

In a statement released on Tuesday, the city said that Mayor Emi Calixto-Rubiano personally talked to Councilor Arnel Regino "Moti" Arceo after the latter ranted about the use of the city’s session hall as a rapid testing venue for COVID-19.

The Pasay chief executive particularly inquired with the councilor on the reasons for his outburst.

Councilor Arceo said that what happened, which he personally video-recorded on his cellphone, was “an expression of shock and my fear of the virus and its possible transmission, not only to some members of the council and their staff but also to other people in City Hall.”

The mayor also already personally talked to different people including the City Health Office personnel who conducted the rapid testing even before the video went viral.

On Monday, she called for a meeting of all the parties concerned.

“I called for a meeting with all parties concerned to settle their differences and focus on the health threat,” Mayor Emi said after emerging from a three-hour closed door meeting at city hall.

Mayor Emi gave advice to the councilor as a public servant being looked up to and depended on by the people of Pasay, and to the City Health Office personnel for their being the champions in the fight versus COVID-19.

“My outburst on that day was because of shock and my fear of the virus and its transmission,” the councilor reiterated, as he apologized in front of the health workers during the meeting.

The health workers said they were traumatized by the incident, saying they were emotionally and psychologically affected by it but nonetheless accepted Arceo’s apology.

Councilor Arceo likewise said he would issue a written apology regarding the matter.

Calixto-Rubiano resolved the misunderstanding between the two parties so as not to compromise the services of the local government unit during this pandemic.

“It is our outmost desire to continue our public service to our residents especially at a time when COVID-19 continues to ravage the general population,” Calixto-Rubiano said.

Read more: Enraged Pasay City councilor erupts over ‘surprise’ rapid testing in city hall