Beauty queen-model Mariel de Leon came to the defense of her father, actor Christopher de Leon, who is currently being called out on social media for taking the coronavirus (COVID-19) test despite a Department of Health (DOH) policy that only the elderly and symptomatic patients may be swabbed due to the lack of kits in the country.
In a series of tweets, the Binibining Pilipinas International 2017 said that her father was already sick before deciding to take the test, and, just "like everyone else", he had to line up and wait for hours before getting swabbed.
"My dad works a lot (events, tapings, shooting) so he’s always exposed to many people. Before he got tested, he was sick and decided to quarantine himself in the house. After it persisted, he decided to go to the doctors to take the test," she said.
"Like everyone else there, he had to wait hours in line because they ran out of tests that morning/afternoon so they had to wait longer," she added.
Mariel added that Christopher "was more worried for my mom because she is a kidney transplant patient (among other health issues)."
"She’s not healthy and she is definitely immunocompromised. Also, they live with other elders including my lola. So [I don't know], maybe don’t assume things without confirming first?" she wrote.
"I never read news or anything about my family because (most of the time) they don’t even contact us to confirm details. So [I don't know] what they’re saying," she added.
The New York-based model, however, agreed that the Philippine government "needs to do better" in handling the COVID-19 crisis, following reports that asymptomatic politicians and their families got tested despite the shortage of testing kits.
"They need to do better. We all need to do better," she wrote.
Christopher revealed his diagnosis via an Instagram post last March 17.
As of Tuesday, March 24, the Philippines has recorded a total of 501 cases of COVID-19, with 33 fatalities and 19 recovered.