Some Filipinos backed actress-comedienne Pokwang who was called out by a social media user for expressing her opinions about the country’s state amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The actress on Tuesday responded to a Twitter user who commented on her reaction about the newly-introduced term “NCR plus,” which is the government’s term for areas in a stricter general community quarantine.
The measure was implemented last Monday with the aim to curb the fast transmission of the virus, especially in the capital region which has all registered the presence of new variants that originated in the United Kingdom and South Africa.
“NCR plus” consists of Metro Manila and its surrounding provinces—Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal. Collectively, they are all referred to as Greater Manila Area.
The Palace said that it is “shortcut term” since it refers to NCR “plus the four provinces.” The provinces were previously under modified GCQ, the least strict of the government’s quarantine phases, before being included in the stricter GCQ bubble.
Pokwang was among the Filipinos who took to social media to express their opinions about the term.
“NCR-plus with ginkgo biloba shirota strain!!! Plus glutathione,” she tweeted on Monday with a series of clapping emojis meant to be sarcastic.
A Twitter user saw her post and commented that her view of the actress has changed.
“Bumaba respeto ko sayo nang naging political analyst kana rin ngayon.. naging nega vibes nalang ang twit mo about government… Kala ko pa naman iba (ka) sa kanila,” the online user said.
Pokwang responded in a quote tweet, which has since earned more than 1,000 likes on the microblogging platform so far.
“Lahat ng Pilipino may karapatang maglabas ng saloobin, lalo na kung pamilyado kang tao! Neng, Pilipino ako!! Ikaw ba? May pamilya ka na ba na apektado ng (pandemyang) ito? Isa ka na bang ina? Ina man o ama o hindi pa, lahat tayo apektado kapag mali ang nangyayare! Boses ko ito, paki mo!” she tweeted.
Pokwang previously called out presidential spokesperson Harry Roque who remarked that Filipinos have been on a “year-long vacation” due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Hindi po bakasyon ang tawag don, sir! Be sensitive naman po! Bakasyon ba matatawag ‘yung umiiyak ka gabi2 (gabi-gabi) kasi wala ka na trabaho?” she tweeted before.
“Pano na pamilya at pangkabuhayan niyo? Bakasyon po ba ‘yung need mo isara negosyo mo kasi may [pandemya?] Kung ganyan ang [bakasyon], edi ayoko na mag-bakasyon,” the actress added.
Pokwang was a longtime Kapamilya talent whose contract got affected after ABS-CBN lost its congressional franchise last year.
Roque clarified his remarks and said that its context was the unemployment that the pandemic has caused.
“Ang konteksto lang nito, talagang maraming tao ang hindi nakapaghanapbuhay dahil dito sa pandemiyang ito. Kaya nga ninanais ng economic team na makahabol naman tayo, at iyon po ang konteksto na aking sinabi,” he said in a media interview.
“Hindi naman po talaga bakasyon ‘yan, kung hindi, hindi nakapagtatrabaho. Kaya ngayon na pupuwede na po tayong makapagtrabaho sana dahil nagbubukas na tayo ng ekonomiya,” the Palace official added.