Employer fires Filipino over insensitive Facebook posts on Luzon quake

April 30, 2019 - 6:30 PM
Person typing in a laptop
An individual typing in a laptop. (Creative Commons/Stock photo)

A Facebook user was terminated from his work following insensitive posts about the powerful earthquake that rocked Luzon last week.

Brian Velarde dela Cruz shared that he was fired from his job as a barista at a famous milk tea franchise after he wrote two status posts that dismissed the incident which has claimed lives.

RELATED: Situation in Pampanga as seen by residents after the earthquake

He shared two of his posts on April 22, Monday that read: “Boring ng lindol, wala manlang [sic] building na bumagsak” and “09650985443 MAGNITUDE KAYA PALA ANG LAKAS. HAYS, TM YAN.”


Dela Cruz has since deleted them but prior to its removal, some alarmed social media users were able to take screenshots and sent it to his employer.

By April 23, Tuesday, Dela Cruz got a call from their human resources department which advised him to delete the posts and release a public apology.

Dela Cruz did what he was told but by April 24, Wednesday, he was terminated for violating the company’s “policy of morality,” particularly on the clause on “Offenses Against Public Health and Morals.”

The penalty for such acts is a “dismissal of contract” or termination.

Based on the letter that Dela Cruz received, an incident report about his posts was submitted to the company.

A hearing was conducted but Dela Cruz “failed to do properly (his) duties and responsibilities as (a) barista.”

An excerpt of the letter stated:

“It is the policy of the company to increase awareness of employees’ ethical responsibility in the matter of morality and discipline.”

“The company shall not condone public displays of immoral acts offensive to decency or subject to disapproval.”

It stated that Dela Cruz’s acts “blemishes the image or the reputation of the company” and that he is terminated from the company effective April 24, Wednesday.

Dela Cruz argued that he already deleted the posts prior to his termination and never even mentioned the company.

“Para sakin, biro lang yon kase hello, puro shitpost at kagaguhan din mga nakikita ko sa newsfeed ko kaya nahawa ako or nasanay sa mga ganung post. Pero, okay,” he said on his new Facebook post.

A girl accessing Facebook
A girl in front of a computer. (Philstar/File photo)

There were some users who said that he deserved the termination, while others reminded him that he should be “mindful” of the things he posts online.

A particular user pointed out that Dela Cruz’s posts might be the latter’s way of “joking” but it was nevertheless insensitive since there were people affected by the incident.

“We are all different. Ganyan ka magbiro e. Ganyan yung way mo, personality, attitude, etc., walang problema. Pero nung pinost mo sa social media brad, don ka nagkamali,” the user shared.

“Naging insensitive ka na e. Imagine how those people na naapektuhan (nang) malala would feel. Desisyon mong ipost. Pangatawanan mo. Wag mong sisihin yung iba sa consequences ng mga aksyon mo,” he continued.

Insensitive posts

Victims of disaster experience disorders 

The earthquake might not have affected Dela Cruz but according to research, victims have been prone to post-traumatic stress disorders.

PTSD is a type of anxiety disorder that occurs to people who have encountered very stressful or frightening events.

Victims of a magnitude 9.0 earthquake in Japan in 2011 were reported to have experienced PTSD, with some lasting even up to 2017.

It is a disorder where victims have the tendency to “relive the event through flashbacks or nightmares; they may feel sadness, fear or anger; and they may feel detached or estranged from other people.”

Humor for ‘coping’ 

A political satirist believes that people make fun of tragedies because it “taps into the suppression of (their) innate rage.”

“Nothing inspires the people who make jokes more than the misfortune of others. There’s a kind of sadism in it… This humor taps into the suppression of people’s innate rage,” Mort Sahl observed.

A 2010 study by a group of behavioral scientists found that people might be “amused” of committing misdemeanor, expressing it through humor.

They called this the “benign-violation theory,” where people are amused by moral violations that are “threats to their normal worldviews, for instance, or disparaging statements but only so long as those violations are harmless.”