Palace says fallen COVID-19 frontliners may be laid to rest at Libingan ng mga Bayani
MANILA, Philippines — Health workers who died while at the forefront of the country’s efforts to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be laid to rest at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB), Malacañang said Thursday.
Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo issued the statement after AKO BICOL party-list Rep. Alfredo Garbin said every Filipino frontliner who died due COVID-19 while performing their duties deserves to be buried at the LNMB.
Panelo told INQUIRER.net that frontliners may be laid to rest at the 103-hectare hallowed ground in Taguig City subject to the approval of the President, Congress or the Secretary of National Defense.
“In view of the foregoing, it may be said that frontliners who died addressing the COVID-19 problem may be interred in the LNMB under ‘other deceased persons whose interment or reinterment has been approved by the Commander-in-Chief, Congress or the Secretary of National Defense’,” Panelo said.
According to the guidelines of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the following are qualified to be interred in the LNMB:
a. Medal of Valor Awardees
b. Presidents or Commander-in-Chief, AFP
c. Secretaries of National Defense
d. Chiefs of Staff, AFP
e. Generals/Flag Officers of the AFP
f. Active and retired military personnel of the AFP to include active draftees and trainees who died in the line of duty, active reservists and CAFGU Active Auxiliary (CAA) who died in combat operations or combat-related activities.
g. Former members of the AFP who laterally entered or joined the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Philippine National Police (PNP).
h. Veterans of Philippine Revolution of 1890, WWI, WWII, and recognized guerillas.
i. Government Dignitaries, Statesmen, National Artists and other deceased persons whose interment or reinterment has been approved by the Commander-in-Chief, Congress or the Secretary of National Defense.
j. Former Presidents, Secretaries of Defense, Dignitaries, Statesmen, National Artists, widows of Former Presidents, Secretaries of National Defense and Chief of Staff.
Panelo, who is also President Duterte’s chief legal counsel, noted that the AFP guidelines may be “amended through a mere executive issuance to include the said frontliners.”
The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday revealed that a total of 252 healthcare workers have been infected by the novel coronavirus. Of whom, 152 or 65 percent are doctors while 63 or 25 percent are nurses.
So far, 12 healthcare workers have succumbed to the disease.
There are currently 3,870 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines. One hundred eighty two have died while 96 have recovered.
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