COVID-19 frontliners highlighted as modern-day heroes during Araw ng Kagitingan

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 9, 2020   •   740

While the rest stay at home to keep safe from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), frontliners are risking their lives in service to the country.

Health workers continue to treat the sick while exposing themselves to the virus.

The police and the military man checkpoints to ensure peace and order amid the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), while blue-collared workers make sure everything else remains in order.

“I cannot stay at home, I’m a nurse.”

This was the hashtag Raul Della Eslao captioned in his profile picture. A registered nurse in the United States (US), Eslao fulfilled his duties as one of the frontliners in Michigan. Twelve days after he changed his profile photo on March 19, he succumbed to the virus.

Dr. Greg Macasate was among the first frontliners to fall to the virus. He dedicated the remainder of his life to treating COVID-19 patients.

The Manila Doctors Hospital called Macasaet a brave man and one of the best anesthesiologists in the country.

These are just a few of the brave modern heroes who served the country during the fight against COVID-19.

Araw ng Kagitingan or the Day of Valor commemorates the bravery of Filipinos during the battle in Bataan on April 9, 1942.

On the 78th commemoration of the Day of Valor, the Philippines is giving praises to the modern-day heroes.

As the country continues its fight against COVID-19, it is the bravery of the frontliners that gave Filipinos hope that this will all come to pass.

According to the Department of Health (DOH), 252 health workers have already been infected with COVID-19 with 11 confirmed deaths.

The PNP also recorded 22 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of April 7 with two recorded deaths.

Meanwhile, netizens, including known personalities, dedicated this day to the frontliners and thanked them for their valor and service to the country.

Franklin Jucaban Jr. decide to become a full-time Grab driver after the declaration of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ). In a Facebook post of Grab Philippines, they lauded his efforts as a frontliner who serve his fellowmen.

“Hindi na nila kailangang umalis sa kanilang trabaho o tahanan para bumili ng gusto nilang kainin (They no longer need to leave their work or homes to buy the food they want),” he said.

Several of the frontliners have already fallen but the fight continues, and this time, there will be no surrender. –AAC

No reports of COVID-19 infection among healthcare workers in the past 13 days – DOH

Marje Pelayo   •   May 25, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) reported a slowdown in the COVID-19 incidence among healthcare workers in the country since April 11.

To date, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 among healthcare workers is at 2,369.

The number of recoveries is at 1,220 while medical professionals who succumbed to the disease tally at 31.

Nonetheless, the DOH is relieved that in the previous week, no healthcare worker contracted the virus.

According to Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, this development is evidence that chances of recovery from COVID-19 is high.

Likewise, no active cases of COVID-19 infection among healthcare workers remain in critical condition. 

Malaking tulong ang strict enforcement of infection prevention and control measures sa ating mga ospital sa pagsisiguro ng kaligtasan ng ating mga frontliners (Stirct enforcement of infection prevention and control measures in our hospitals helped a lot in ensuring the safety of our frontliners),” Vergeire said.

Healthcare workers are among the priority sectors in COVID-19 testing because of the nature of their job where the risk of infection is high. MNP (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

Sinas to remain in post pending probe on mañanita, PNP says

Robie de Guzman   •   May 14, 2020

NCRPO chief Major General Debold Sinas

MANILA, Philippines – National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Major General Debold Sinas will remain in his post despite the ongoing investigation for possible violations of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) protocols during his controversial birthday celebration on May 8, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Thursday.

Atty. Alfegar Triambulo, inspector general of the PNP’s Internal Affairs Service (IAS), cited two reasons why Sinas and other police officials will not be removed from the position while the probe is underway.

Based on the PNP protocol, a police official under investigation should be relieved from his post since he might influence its result.

Triambulo explained that the country is currently facing a public health crisis and police officials being investigated are among those implementing the measures set by the government against the coronavirus pandemic.

“Hindi natin gagawin ‘yun kasi maganda naman ‘yung performance nila, kaya sinasabi ko very delicate matters ito kaya nandoon ako, kasi kung magkamali tayo dito, eh baka ang talo dito ‘yung taongbayan. Ito yung mga tao na nagpatupad noong pressure ng gobyerno para labanan ‘yung Covid at maganda naman. Hindi naman natin makaila na maganda performance nila,” he said.

The PNP-IAS chief assured that Sinas won’t be able to influence the outcome of the investigation as it is being handled by a civilian lawyer.

“Dalawang space itong iimbestigahan natin. Kasi kung mayroong dapat i-correct para hindi maulit-ulit kasi nasa krisis tayo para maiwasan sa ibang mga lugar sa mga kampo na magkakaroon ng ganitong insidente,” he said.

“Yung pangalawa, yung individual liability, kasi maraming involve dito. Yung degree ng kanilang responsibility, hindi pareho,” he added.

Triambulo also said they are carefully investigating the matter as it also involves other police officers who organized the mañanita for Sinas in the morning of May 8.

A mañanita is a police and military tradition of greeting a police commander to celebrate their birthday.

It drew flak after photos allegedly taken at the event, which circulated online, showed Sinas mingling with his guests and that social distancing was not observed. It also appears that the event violated the ban on mass gathering during the quarantine.

“Kapag nagkamali tayo sa ating approach baka ma-prejudice yung public interest. Kasi itong mga taong ito, ito yung mga leaders, mga opisyal na nagpapatupad ng policy ng gobyerno para labanan ang Covid crisis dito sa NCR,” he said.

“Ngayon, kung sa ating approach baka hindi maganda at ma-demoralize sila, apektado yung general welfare. Kaya kailangan, i-balance natin,” he added.

The IAS has been tasked by PNP chief Archie Gamboa to lead the investigation to ensure impartiality and preclude any perception of influence over the outcome of the inquiry.

In a separate statement, Gamboa said he expects to receive a complete investigation report on the incident on Friday.

“Per initial assessment, there is probable cause for the filing of criminal and administrative charges in relation to quarantine health protocols. IAS personnel are now in the NCRPO gathering affidavits as support documents to file these cases,” the PNP chief said.

He said that for the administrative cases, they will be transmitted for approval by the Office of the President.

“We will refrain from issuing further statements in deference to the proceedings. Allow the investigation to take its due course and respect our prerogative to exercise command management of the PNP,” Gamboa said.

The PNP chief also stressed that the incident is isolated and should not undermine the frontliners’ sacrifices.

“The PNP’s role in our government’s fight against COVID-19 crisis is critical. The transition from ECQ to GCQ will entail greater vigilance on our part to keep the Filipino public safe. The incident, while unfortunate, is isolated and should not undermine the sacrifice of our own frontliners,” he said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

LOOK: The last supermoon of 2020

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 8, 2020

People across the globe witnessed the last supermoon of 2020.

The supermoon, which is also called as the flower moon, occurred on Thursday (May 7). According to PAGASA, the moon is at its nearest distance to the Earth.

Several netizens posted their own shots of the supermoon.

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