‘Shame campaign’ directed to quarantine violators, not to COVID patients

“While I did I mention the need to launch a shame campaign, my suggestion was directed not against COVID-19 patients but against quarantine violators such as those who still refuse to wear face masks, observe physical distancing, and abide by the minimum health standards set by the Department of Health,”

Martin Diño, Undersecretary on Barangay Affairs of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Monday clarified that the “shame campaign” he was referring to during an earlier report is directed toward blatant violators of community quarantine protocols.

“I wish to clarify that some of my statements in my interview of July 18 on Radyo 5 were misquoted and entirely taken out of context,” DILG Undersecretary Martin Diño said in a statement.

He said as undersecretary on Barangay Affairs, he receives voluminous reports and complaints on a daily basis from barangay officials on the hardheadedness and lack of cooperation of some of their constituents who continue to defy and violate community quarantine protocols.

“Such apparent lack of discipline and concern from some of our pasaway countrymen is one of the primary reasons why the number of COVID-19 patients continues to rise despite the sacrifice and hard work of our frontliners and the general public,” he said, expressing disappointed at some infected people who would ignore the COVID-19 crisis.

“Out of my utter disgust and exasperation over such behaviour, I told the program hosts that there should be a shame campaign against such individuals for their audacity to disregard the threat of the disease and the preventive measures we have established. My statement, however, was misquoted or twisted by some media outlets to appear that the shame campaign is against COVID-19 patients,” he added.

“Therefore, I would like to set the record straight that I will never personally champion a mentality of shaming COVID patients nor will the Department of the Interior and Local Government. We will always uphold the rights of patients especially during a global pandemic,” he furthered.

“Nonetheless, I sincerely regret the confusion brought about by this issue. I likewise appeal to all media outlets to be more exact and double check my statements so as not to confuse our people at the expense of their interviewees. At this time of pandemic, we should help one another bring out the good news and positivity among our people,” he added. (PIA NCR)

Armed members of a police special action force man a checkpoint along a street in Navotas in suburban Manila on July 16, 2020, after the local government reimposed a lockdown in the city due to increased COVID-19 infections. – Philippine police were being deployed to ensure people who test positive for the coronavirus and cannot self-isolate at home are taken to state-run quarantine centres, sparking warnings of potential rights violations. (Photo by Ted ALJIBE / AFP)

In a related news:

Malacañang on Monday thumbed down the “shame campaign” proposal made by Interior Undersecretary for Barangay Affairs Martin Diño which targets stubborn quarantine protocol violators.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Diño’s suggestion would be a violation of the Data Privacy Act which protects an individual’s personal information.

Quoting Interior Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya, Roque said it is not the policy of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to carry out a shame campaign.

“Rerespetuhin pa rin natin ang privacy ng mga magkakasakit. Bagama’t kinakailangan i-report sa DOH iyong mga nagkakasakit pero hindi naman po para isapubliko ang kanilang mga pangalan (We will still respect the privacy of those who are sick. Even though there is a need to report positive cases to the DOH, their names should not be publicized),” he said.

Malacañang is not in favor of a proposed “shame campaign” of coronavirus patients but is amenable to the warrantless arrest of quarantine violators as long as the rules of court are followed.

Compiled by Marites de Jesus, Far West Herald