Woman dies trying to look for bus to go home

Published June 10, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Dhel Nazario

The story of a woman who reportedly died after five days of looking for a bus to take her home in Camarines Sur has attracted the attention of many people in social media. It presents another sad story in the midst of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

(Photo via Dhel Nazario/MANILA BULLETIN)
(Photo via Dhel Nazario/MANILA BULLETIN)

The woman, who police identified as Michelle Silvertino, who was working in Antipolo, had started her journey home to Calabanga in Camarines Sur on May 31. She wanted to see her children, reports said.

According to the Pasay City public information office, the vehicle of Michelle’s employer had brought her to Pasay City on May 31, to get a bus to her hometown. The driver, upon learning that there were no buses to the province then, offered to take her back to Antipolo. Michelle refused, because she wanted to be near the bus terminals to wait for a trip home, the Pasay Public Information Office (PIO) said in a press statement released on Wednesday.

Even if Metro Manila had been eased to general community quarantine on June 1, there were no city and provincial buses in operation yet, only the MRT bus augmentation.

According to the same statement, the Pasay Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) were informed on June 1 by the Pasay Police of the presence of a certain woman (identified later as Michelle) at a footbridge along EDSA.

The PIO said in the statement that personnel from DRRMO were sent to check on the woman and they found her body temperature and other vital signs normal. They observed though that the woman looked very tired at that time..

The DRRMO personnel offered to bring her to the hospital for a check-up but she refused. They asked her to sign a waiver stating that she did not want to be brought to the hospital, and she signed the waiver, the office said.

On June 5, the Pasay police found Michelle Silvertino, 33, of Barangay Burabod, Calabanga, Camarines Sur at the same footbridge along EDSA Barangay 159, Pasay City. She had high fever and difficulty in breathing. The policemen rushed her to the Pasay City General Hospital where she was pronounced dead on arrival (DOA).

Because of her symptoms, Michelle would have been another victim suspected of having the coronavirus disease. But a report from ABS-CBN on June 9 had picked up her story — she waited five days for a bus ride to bring her to Camarines Sur.

That was an ironic twist of fate as on that day, Michelle was getting closer to a vehicle that would take her to her hometown. According to the Pasay PIO statement, Michelle had been processed for a travel pass and scheduled for a Rapid Test on June 4, as arranged by the mayor’s office after staff members had found her at the footbridge.

“Through coordination with the Office of Vice President Leni Robredo, Michelle was approved to travel to her home town in Camarines Sur on June 6 and a vehicle had been prepared for this purpose,” the PIO statement said.

Unfortunately, Michelle died on June 5 and was buried at the Pasay Cemetery on June 7.

Meanwhile, Mayor Emi Calixto-Rubiano has vowed to extend the necessary assistance to the relatives of Silvertino.

“When initial information about this incident reached me, I immediately directed my staff to seek the names, contact numbers and whereabouts of the relatives of Michelle. I likewise contacted Congressman Gabriel “Gabby” Hidalgo Bordado, Jr., who is also of Calabanga, Camarines Sur,” she said.