Former Kapamilya artist Daryl Ong claimed that protesting on the streets spreads COVID-19 after the nationwide rally held on the same day as President Rodrigo Duterte‘s fifth State of the Nation Address.
The singer in an alleged Facebook post claimed that the government might impose enhanced community quarantine, the strictest level of quarantine, after reports of Filipinos rallying for “SONAgkaisa” surfaced on Monday.
“Mukhang magE-ECQ nanaman daw?.. Ayos, rally pa more guys,” Ong allegedly wrote with a thumbs-up emoji.
The Facebook post can no longer be accessed on the social networking site but screengrabs of it went viral on the local online community.
LOOK: Daryl Ong, isinisisi ang pagtaas ng kaso ng COVID-19 sa mga nagra-rally.Matatandaang may 8 na nag-positibo sa…
Currently, there are no confirmed reports that Metro Manila will be reverted back to ECQ but the Palace said it is a wait-and-see scenario as they continuously monitor the developments about the COVID-19 pandemic.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said that experts from the University of the Philippines have suggested a modified ECQ instead.
Meanwhile, Ong’s post did not sit well with some Filipinos who argued that the public was protesting “for the sake of the people and for their own families.”
This prompted his name to land on local Twitter’s top trending list on Tuesday morning.
“Daryl Ong just claimed his opinion as a ‘personal’ matter, yet he invalidated the ‘personal’ choice of the protesters to join some rallies for the country, for the people and for their own families,” a Twitter user wrote.
Lief Reyes, founding member of organization Tayo Kabataan, pointed out that some healthcare workers — the foremost frontliners against the pandemic — were also part of the protesters he had looked down upon.
“Daryl Ong, sana ginamit mo yung talento mo sa pagkanta upang maging boses ng naghihirap. Paano yun, health workers na mismo kasama sa rally?” he wrote on Facebook.
“Sa tingin mo ba gusto nilang maulanan, maarawan, at lumabas kung okay naman ang lahat? Walang magrarally kung matino yung nasa Malacañang! Napuna mo na ba ang gobyerno sa kapabayaan nila ha?” Reyes added.
Recently, healthcare workers from San Lazaro Hospital and the National Kidney and Transplant Institute held silent protests as they called for better working conditions amid allegations of understaffing and improper distribution of work benefits, among others.
There were also some medical frontliners who joined the nationwide protest rally “SONAgkaisa” on Monday morning as they expressed opposition against the controversial anti-terror law.
Meanwhile, a Twitter user said that it was “easy” for Ong to blame the protesters since he was “sitting on the other side of the privileged fence.”
“Call out mo din yung nasa Rizal Stadium na kagagawan ng First Lady Bong Go,” the online user added.
Duterte’s fifth SONA on Monday was met with a nationwide protest rally called “SONAgkaisa” wherein youth groups, progressive groups, some government officials and other public figures expressed their opposition to his policies like the anti-terror law and his dependence on China, among others.
The protesters also called out the government for its handling of the pandemic amid the continuous rise of the COVID-19 cases and renewed calls for mass testing initiatives.
There were also activists who likewise condemned the Congress’ denial of a franchise for media giant ABS-CBN which has since resulted in massive retrenchment and deprivation of information in some far-flung areas.
Before the massive demonstration took place, the public was informed about the minimum health protocols to be observed such as maintaining physical distancing and the wearing of face masks. They were also told to self-quarantine after the event and monitor themselves for possible symptoms.
Ilang mga paalala sa mga sasama sa #SONAgKAISA.Bukas na. Ingat lagi. Asdang.
Markers were also put in place by the organizers to guide the rallyists on physical distancing.
The COVID-19 cases in the country has been continuously increasing even before “SONAgkaisa” took place.
Just recently, a number of locally-stranded individuals (LSI) crammed in the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex have tested positive for COVID-19 amid concerns on physical distancing.
The LSIs reportedly availed of the government’s “Hatid Tulong” program and was assigned to wait in the complex for transportation to bring them to their provinces.
Presidential Management Staff Assistant Secretary Joseph Encabo said that they had to shelter the LSIs due to the heat of the sun and the threat of downpour that time.
ABS-CBN data analyst Edson Guido, who has been posting insights about COVID-19 in the country on Twitter, also noted that cases have been continuously rising even before “SONAgkaisa” had taken place.
Experts from UP and the University of Santo Tomas attributed the increase of cases due to the relaxed community quarantine imposed over Metro Manila and some regions beginning June, where more establishments and transportation have been allowed to operate under the general community quarantine.
Meanwhile, experts from the United States — where massive protests were also held in light of the “Black Lives Matter” movement — reported that parties and not protests were the cause of the surge of COVID-19. They attributed it to the failure to practice wearing face masks in the public.