UP students report being red-tagged over donation drive hotline

April 1, 2020 - 5:46 PM
UP Oblation
The University of the Philippines Oblation (Philstar/File photo)

The student council of the University of the Philippines Manila claimed that its members were red-tagged after they initiated to help donation drives for the health workers of the Philippine General Hospital.

The UPM-USC said on March 30 that the members opened their communication lines to help streamline the charity campaigns a few weeks ago.

However, they alleged that these lines have also been used to send them death threats and accuse them of being subversives or communist rebels.

“We strongly condemn these actions and accusations that, aside from being counterproductive to our cause, place members of our community at a greater risk. Red-tagging has serious implications that pose a real danger to a person’s life. Moreover, these threats exact a toll on the well-being of our members, especially in these trying times,” the UPM-USC said.

𝗨𝗣𝗠 𝗨𝗦𝗖’𝘀 𝗦𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗛𝗮𝗿𝗮𝘀𝘀𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝗠𝗲𝗺𝗯𝗲𝗿𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗰𝗶𝗹 A few weeks ago, we opened our lines for transactions…

Posted by UP Manila University Student Council on Monday, March 30, 2020

The UPM-USC also attached screenshots of these messages in the post. These contain insults and other remarks accusing them of being members of the New People’s Army.

UP was one of the schools tagged by the Armed Forces of the Philippines in 2018 as places where the Communist Party of the Philippines are purportedly recruiting students.

Despite receiving accusations and insulting remarks, the group still continues to open their lines for inquiries, grievances and concerns relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.

They also encouraged Filipinos to continue being vigilant and critical of the policies and actions of the government, particularly during the duration of the quarantine.

“Let us continue to be vigilant and critical now that the policies and actions of our government have a heightened impact on the lives of our countrymen. Let us also continue in fighting for the protection of the rights of the people, especially the marginalized and those at the front lines in the fight against this pandemic,” it said.

Several online charity campaigns were initiated after the enhanced community quarantine was imposed to provide the health workers and other emergency frontliners their needs, such as personal protective equipment, face masks, test kits and hand sanitizers.

Vice President Leni Robredo and other local government units such as the city governments of Marikina, in Manila and in Pasig have provided not only medical equipment but also temporary residences and food to various hospitals as well.

Moreover, some local personalities from the entertainment and music industry initiated online fundraising events for other sectors of the society severely affected by the enhanced community quarantine.

The state-run hospital as a referral center

Last March 23, the Department of Health assigned the UP-PGH as one of the three referral centers in Metro Manila for patients who acquired the deadly COVID-19.

The other two are the Dr. Jose M. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital in Caloocan City and the Lung Center of the Philippines in Quezon City.

Under this referral system, admission will be limited to “mild PUIs (patients under investigation) who are at high risk of deterioration (above 60 years of age and/or with co-morbidities) and moderate to critical PUIs.”

The transfer of patients can also only be done after the “official acceptance” of the recipient hospital.