As #JusticeForMichelleSilvertino trends on Twitter, netizens call on gov’t to prioritize people | Inquirer News
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As #JusticeForMichelleSilvertino trends on Twitter, netizens call on gov’t to prioritize people

/ 07:38 PM June 10, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Hashtags about seeking justice for stranded worker Michelle Silvertino, who died while waiting for buses to resume trips to the Bicol Region, are currently trending on social media platform Twitter.

Twitter users made the call on Wednesday after Silvertino was buried in Pasay City, far away from her hometown Calabanga, Camarines Sur.  Silvertino died due to respiratory ailments and was considered as a probable COVID-19 patient.

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Reports said that Silvertino, previously working as a housemaid, tried to return to Calabanga after quarantine restrictions in Metro Manila were eased.  She was dropped in Cubao, Quezon City by her employers, but she decided to walk to Pasay City — carrying her luggage — to wait for buses in the area.

But with public transportation modes still suspended, Silvertino decided to stay at a footbridge near the bus terminal for five days, until a concerned citizen reported that she had a fever and had difficulty breathing.  She was rushed to the Pasay General Hospital last June 5 but was declared dead on arrival.

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With Silvertino’s death, she left behind four young children.

Netizens chided the government over Silvertino’s death, for various reasons, like alleged misplaced priorities.  As of posting, the #JusticeForMichelleSilverio has over 5,300 tweets.

One user with the Twitter handle @AngManunupa said the government should have focused on testing possible COVID-19 patients, resuming public transportation, and bringing people back to the provinces instead of the controversial Anti-Terrorism Bill.

“This is very inhumane. No one should be blamed, only this government. Putting urgency to the terror bill forgetting the citizens who placed them on the seat. I wonder what the DDS would say on this. I just hope this won’t happen to any of them,” @AngManunupa said.

“Michelle Silvertino. Say her name. She’s a victim of the faulty government and its messed up priorities. How about instead of focusing on the good-for-nothing anti-terror bill, the administration focuses on the actual issues at hand?” @ohmyqveen asked.

https://twitter.com/AngManunupa/status/1270669116316082176

Others blamed the local government, especially after reports surfaced that the Pasay City officers asked Silvertino to leave the area, but eventually allowed her to stay when she said that she was waiting for buses bound to Camarines Sur.

“The incompetence of the Pasay City LGU and the blatant indifference of the national government caused the death of this mother who just wanted to go home to her children in Camarines Sur,” another Twitter user said.

“I don’t know what to say. While others are enjoying their privileges, some are suffering and dying. Please focus on what really matters. Let us set aside other issues. Hear us. Use your ears not your mouth,” @sir_jow added.

“If we don’t die from this pandemic, we might die from the incompetence of this government. this is too much. i’m close to crying. this isn’t the country i want the next generation to inherit,” @maarrssmallow claimed.

Some, meanwhile, said that the issue highlights uneven treatment for the poor and those in power, as authorities can hold birthday parties and travel to various places but Silvertino cannot — despite the existence of a Balik Probinsya program

“A Senator can leave his house at will during the lockdown, a PNP police chief can have his f*cking birthday and recently a mayor can go to Baguio at will, this country is full of shitty people and for the majority, we don’t get a second chance,” @AIPinoy added.

“She walked from Cubao to Pasay then waited for several days just to go home to her children, and this?! For f*cks sake pag Chinese to buhay pa siguro siya,” @LClosedoors said.

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