What your fave stars said about gov’t coronavirus response

Bea Cupin
What your fave stars said about gov’t coronavirus response
April 1 in the Philippines was no laughing matter – and the country’s biggest stars from the entertainment industry made sure their presence was felt amid the rage, too


MANILA, Philippines – April 1, 2020 was a rollercoaster of a day for most Filipinos, the majority of whom are cooped up at home as different parts of the country remain under lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The day began with a video of police dispersing and arresting members of an urban poor community in Quezon City who staged a protest to demand government aid. Most of Sitio San Roque’s residents are low-wage earners who, more often than not, have gone without any source of income during the lockdown. Around 21 people were arrested.

Hours later, reports surfaced that the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) had summoned Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto for allegedly violating the Bayanihan Law – nevermind that his supposed infraction happened before the measure was enacted.

April 1 ended with an impromptu speech from President Rodrigo Duterte in the evening, where he ordered the police and military to shoot those who violate “enhanced community quarantine” rules.

The rage was palpable online, especially because Filipino celebrities – even those who aren’t usually open about their political views – raged online following the events of the day.

While it’s not unusual to see a celebrity give their 2 cents on social media, it’s admittedly rare to encounter those who are willing to speak truth to power. From wisecracking to instances of pure rage, here’s what the country’s celebrities – mostly personalities from the entertainment industry – had to say:

Donnalyn Bartolome is simple, walang arte – and tired of the tomfoolery. 

Angelica Panganiban is definitely not one to keep quiet. She’s also not one to back down – even if your neighbor’s WiFi is down. The actress first reacted to news of Vico’s NBI summons. 


She was later called out for her previously supporting Duterte. She responded with an apology. “Yes. Nakakalungkot. Pero oo. Patawarin ‘nyo ko (Yes. It’s disappointing. But it’s true. Please forgive me),” she said, responding to a screenshot of an old news article. 




Khalil Ramos, meanwhile, reminded users to stay vigilant over how the P275 billion earmarked for the government’s coronavirus response will be used. 


RK Bagatsing had both the funds – and the 2022 elections – in mind: 



Maja Salvador channeled Ivy Aguas in calling for the same vigilance. 





It’s said that a crisis reveals a person’s true character. Here’s Janella Salvador’s realization: 



Maris Racal said it was time to remove your rose-colored glasses. 


Saab Magalona has no time for chill. 





Seemingly responding to Duterte’s threat, Chie Filomeno reminded his followers that in this country, the power should ultimately be with the people.



Violence should never be an option during a pandemic. Go tell them, Lauren Young. 



Pancit over threats, any time of the day. 



New mom Anne Curtis, who’s riding out the pandemic in Australia, also called on officials to focus on what matters the most – making Filipinos feel safe during a crisis. 



The internet’s “president,” Nadine Lustre, in true IG-queen fashion, gave her 2 cents via stories. “COVID exposed the government for what it really is. The people need help, compassion (minus Koko), and transparency, not threats and lies,” she said. 

It was truly a long day, and most of us might have related the most to Janine Gutierrez who had no words left to say. 



While it’s tempting to dismiss these posts as mere drops in the ocean, you can’t discount the fact that being a celebrity in the Philippines (and everywhere else, really) means influence.

And in trying times, it certainly doesn’t hurt when people with a platform and the right influence amplify important messages. – Rappler.com

Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.