Press Release
April 1, 2020

Dispatch from Crame No. 758:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima on Denouncing the Harassment of Health Workers

Araw-araw sinusuong ng ating mga health workers ang nakakatakot at delikadong laban kontra COVID-19. Umaalis sila sa kani-kanilang mga bahay na walang kasiguraduhan kung makakabalik silang ligtas. Ni hindi mayakap ang pamilya sa kanilang pag-uwi kung kailan mas kailangan rin sana nila ng kalinga matapos ang buong araw na pakikipagbak-bakan sa delubyong ito.

Ngunit sa kabila nito, nakakagimbal isipin na nagagawa pa ng iba sa atin ang saktan at kutyain ang ating mga healthworkers.

News have been circulating online about fellow Filipinos targeting medical staff and personnel. A group in Sultan Kudarat ganged up against a hospital personnel and splattered bleach on the staff's face on his way to work. Two men onboard a motorcycle threw chlorine towards a staff of a hospital in Cebu. Others are preventing health care workers from using public transports; carinderias are likewise refusing to serve them food; petitions were made demanding that healthworkers be evicted from their homes; they are also being fined in checkpoints.

What is happening to us? We are already experiencing a nightmare and yet we contribute to the horrors our health workers encounter. This is not just! This has to stop!

Our health workers are in dire need of our prayers, support and encouragement. We must boost their morale and uplift their spirits. They should not be stigmatized as walking bombs waiting to explode. They are not, they are our modern heroes, courageous soldiers in PPEs. They chose to do their duties when they could have stayed home safe with their families like the rest of us. They are the ones most deserving of compassion and kindness.

While I understand the fear and panic that this pandemic stir, it is utterly inhumane to perpetuate violence, harassment and discrimination towards our health workers who are selflessly and tirelessly working for us. Ating tandaan na hindi sila ang kalaban natin dito. Kalaban natin ang COVID-19 at ang sistemang tila bulag sa tunay na pangangailangan ng ating mga healthcare frontliners.

Sa ating mga healthworkers, may your unfaltering commitment towards our country remain vigorous despite present challenges. A million thank yous will not suffice for all your hardwork and sacrifices. I pray that each one of you come home every day safe and well.

Katulad ng mga posts online, naniniwala ako na hindi lamang mga nakakapa ang superheroes, ang iba nakaPPE. Stop violence and discrimination against healthworkers!

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