Statement on the Alleged Shame Campaign against COVID-19 Patients

Usec. Martin B. Diño
Undersecretary for Barangay Affairs
I wish to clarify that some of my statements in my interview of July 18 on Radyo 5 was misquoted and entirely taken out of context.

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.

As Undersecretary on Barangay Affairs, I receive 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.

Out of my utter disgust and exasperation over such behavior, 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.

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.

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.

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