Actress Angel Locsin urged to help gov't battle virus

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo has urged actress Angel Locsin to use her fame to rally public cooperation to fight the coronavirus pandemic instead of just criticizing the government.


Panelo reminded Locsin that the enemy is the coronavirus, not the government, after taking a swipe at the actress’ supposed penchant to find fault with the government’s actions.

"Naalala ko tuloy si Angel Locsin. Ang sabi mo ang kalaban hindi ang health workers, ang kalaban 'yung virus. O tama ka doon. Eh bakit kung 'yun ang kalaban eh bakit mo nilalabanan ang gobyerno? Lahat ng mga banat mo puro sa gobyerno. Ang dapat labanan natin 'yung virus (I remember Angel Locsin. You said the enemy is not the health workers, the enemy is the virus. You are right. So if the virus is the enemy, why are you fighting the government? All your criticisms are against the government. We should fight the virus)," Panelo said over his "Counterpoint" program last Friday.

"Dapat gamitin mo dahil ikaw naman ay kilala at hinahangaan, gamitin mo manawagan ka na mag-cooperate tayo. hindi 'yung puro banat ka, ginagaya mo "yung mga kritiko (Because you're popular and admired, you should use it and call for everyone's cooperation, and not always criticize. You're following other critics)," he added.

In a recent Instagram post, Locsin expressed support for the country's health workers after President Duterte scolded the medical community for airing grievance in public.

The actress wrote that COVID-19, not the people, is the enemy. She added that health workers need support not intimidation or threats.

Locsin had earlier initiated a COVID relief program, including raising funds to set up hundreds of isolation tents to address overcrowding in hospitals.

Last week, the President agreed to return Manila and four nearby provinces under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) from Aug. 4 to 18 after the health professionals pleaded for a timeout. He also promised to pursue additional benefits for health workers, including free and frequent testing.

The medical community had earlier called for recalibrate government response after the country's healthcare system has become overwhelmed with surge in cases of infections.

Duterte, however, scored the health workers for going public with their plea, saying they were trying to "demean" his government. He said they could have asked for audience with him to address their concerns as he lamented supposed attempts to foment a revolution. "Now, if you think that this can be solved by revolution, then by all means, we start it," he said.

The group of doctors denied calling for a revolt or threatening to leave patients on their own. They also apologized if their timeout plea was misconstrued in a negative light.