Solon hits media on viral photo of LSIs cramming at Rizal stadium
MANILA, Philippines — A lawmaker on Thursday slammed the media over a viral photo showing thousands of locally-stranded individuals (LSIs) crammed inside the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, breaking social distancing rules and risking coronavirus infection.
During the House committee on good governance hearing, Bulacan 1st District Rep. Jose Antonio Sy-Alvarado told the story behind the photo.
“Yung Rizal Stadium, ayon kay Sec. Vince Dizon, ay hinanda lamang para sa 3,000 na tao na LSI,” Sy-Alvarado said. “Ang problema, ang dumating lagpas 7,500 at nung umulan, yung 7,500, wala naman gusto magpabasa sa ulan, nagkumpulan na.”
(The Rizal Stadium, according to Sec. Vince Dizon, had been prepared for 3,000 LSIs. However, 7,500 of them showed up. Then suddenly it rained, of course nobody wanted to get drenched under the rain, so they crammed.)
“Pero that same night, inaksyunan din kaagad. Ang problema, nakuhanan muna ng video, nakuhanan muna ng picture bago naayos,” he added.
(But that same night, it was acted upon right away. But the problem was, video and photo had already been taken before everything had been arranged.)
“So in other words, parang tayo nagisa ng media through that picture, pero yung tunay na storya about it was never revealed to the public that we are expecting 3,000 LSI nga lang. But unfortunately dumagsa nga po, at the government took an action naman,” Laguna 1st District Representative Dan Fernandez then said.
(So in other words, we were somehow grilled by the media through that picture. But the true story about it was never revealed to the public that we are expecting 3,000 LSI. But unfortunately, more people went, and the government took an action about it.”)
Fernandez then told the media: “And ito na nga po sinasabi natin na mag-ingat rin po sana yung mga kaibigan natin sa media. In this very delicate situation of our world [right now] no, na sana maging balanse din.”
(This is what we are telling them, our friends in the media should be careful. In this very delicate situation right now, they need to be balanced too.)
The LSIs staying at the facility were waiting for government-sponsored trips back to their home provinces through the “Hatid Tulong” program.
Of the total number of people who stayed in the Rizal Sports Complex, 48 of them tested positive for the coronavirus, according to Presidential Management Staff Assistant Secretary Joseph Encabo, who is also the lead convener of the program.
In the same hearing Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) Undersecretary Benjo Benavidez backed Sy-Alvarado’s statement.
“Totoo po na dinagsa yun pero agaran po naming nasolusyonan, nag-decide po kami na ilipat yung LSIs sa isang structure. So nilipat po namin paunti-unti yung ibang LSI,” Benanvidez said.
(It was true that people flocked to the stadium, but it was solved right away. We decided to transfer the LSIs in one structure. So we transferred the LSIs one-by-one.)
“Karagdagang pagu-ulat na rin po may naiwan po dun pero konti na lang po, ang napagdesisyunan po namin sa TWG [technical working group], ay ilipat po sa isang shelter. meron po tayong temporary shelter para po dun sa mga naiwan at nahuli sa byahe,” he added.
(Additional information, there were other LSI back in the stadium, but they are few of them. We decided to place them in a shelter for those who were left behind or did not make the trip.)
The Dole, according to Benavidez, is part of a technical working group assigned to assist LSIs in going back to their home provinces.
“At ngayon po ay pinagu-usapan na rin po namin yun sa pamamagitan ng sea assets, yung vessel po ng Philippine Coast Guard para po sa susunod na linggo ay mapauwi natin sila,” Benavidez said.
(And now we’re talking to our sea assets, the vessels of the Philippine Coast Guard, so that by next week we can send them home.)
Fernandez then said that the agencies involved “have delivered” to solve the problem.
“But other people, nakikita, based on the picture, eh parang jina-judge na nila yung effort nating lahat. Samantalang we are doing our best, but somehow, naro-wrong judgement ang ginagawa sa atin,” the lawmaker said.
(But other people, they based on the picture, it’s as if they judged our efforts. We are doing our best. But somehow, we were given wrong judgement with what we are doing.)
“Kung may nakita tayong mali, itatama po natin. Ganun din sana maging trabaho ng media. Kung may makikita man silang mali sa kanilang mga posting, sana i-correct din po naman para sa ganun, maging balanse ang lahat,” he added.
(If we see something wrong, we correct it. I hope that’s what the media does too. If they see something wrong in their posting, they should correct it too so it will all be balanced.)
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