Filipinos are fuming online after several lawmakers and Cabinet secretaries decided to compare themselves with the overworked health professionals on the frontlines of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea seemed to have planned a little side show during the special session of the House of Representatives on Monday, March 23.
After Medialdea defended the bill requesting Congress to grant President Rodrigo Duterte emergency powers to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 disease, the officials and politicians at the Batasang Pambansa stood up and faced the cameras.
They then held up manila papers that read, “Together with doctors and frontliners, we went to work for you, so please stay at home for us.”
Present during this photo op were the Speaker, the Executive Secretary, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado, and several lawmakers.
It was clearly ripped off from a social media campaign launched by frontline health workers, who have been posting pictures of themselves in protective gear to convince the public to stay at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Twitter users would have none of it.
Many were appalled by the gall of lawmakers and Cabinet secretaries to lump themselves with health workers – many of whom have long been appealing to the government to give them more supplies and protective equipment to fight COVID-19.
The gimmick even gave birth to memes.
What did these manila papers conveniently leave out? That the reason why frontliners are risking their lives every day to battle COVID-19 is because the Cabinet and the politicians – the people who are supposed to lead Filipinos in this time of crisis – are tragically mismanaging their response to the pandemic. – Rappler.com