ABS-CBN donated food to residents of Sitio San Roque in Brgy. Bagong Pagasa, Quezon City a day after they staged a protest to demand food and financial aid from the government, halfway into the month-long lockdown of Luzon.
Through its Pantawid ng Pag-ibig campaign, launched on March 20 to assist local governments in providing food and basic necessities to vulnerable sectors affected by the Luzon lockdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the media giant donated 505 bags of rice, 1,200 boxes of noodles, and around 78,000 kilograms of macaroni to 7,000 families residing in Sitio San Roque, most of whom are informal settlers.
Bilang bahagi ng #PantawidNgPagibig, hinatiran ng ABS-CBN ng 505 sako ng bigas, 1,200 kahon ng noodles at nasa 78,000 kilo ng macaroni ang mga taga-Sitio San Roque sa Brgy. Pag-asa, Quezon City. | via Weng Paraan, ABS-CBN News #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/pBeB3uRljk— ABS-CBN News (@ABSCBNNews) April 2, 2020
On Wednesday, April 1, residents of Sitio San Roque gathered along EDSA service road to stage a rally to demand help amid the enhanced community quarantine that attempts to curb the spread of COVID-19, but has disenfranchised millions of Filipinos.
The protest led to the arrest of 21 residents by the Philippine National Police for protesting without a permit and for violating the guidelines of the lockdown, which barred any public and mass gatherings.
Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazer, deputy chief for operations of the Philippine National Police (PNP), had told DZMM that they would coordinate with the Quezon City government regarding the filing of possible charges against the arrested protesters.
Several celebrities have since weighed in on the controversy, many of whom openly called out the authorities for the "unfair" arrest of the residents, who earlier said they were only asking for food and other assistance that the government promised.
Seeing this, sila ang padre de pamilya ng bahay nila. Sila ang incharge ng mag provide ng pagkain sa bahay nila. Paano na ang asawa at anak nila kung huhulihin pa sila. The local govt has to do something about this. 🙏🏻 https://t.co/WWi9UiKa8s— kim chiu (@prinsesachinita) April 1, 2020
Ang hirap ng sitwasyon ng mga tao ngayon. Papasok na ang 3rd week of the community quarantine. Hindi dapat hulihin or bugbugin ang kailangan kausapin, they will not be doing those things kung nabibigyan sila ng tamang atensyon and support from the local government. 🙏🏻 https://t.co/AOymB0bJui— kim chiu (@prinsesachinita) April 1, 2020
Hindi po sila kriminal. Sila ay gutom. Nangangailangan ng tulong. Ito ang dahilan kung bakit dapat ilabas na ang cash assistance ng gubyerno. Kailangan na tao. Hindi bukas. Ngayon 🙏🏻 https://t.co/MQyK0iTAJu— Karen Davila (@iamkarendavila) April 1, 2020
They need help now, more than ever. Gutom sila... they were left with no choice.. and I’m sure doing this for their own families that they have to feed.. Sana bigyan to ng pansin at agapan na kaagad ng gubyerno 💔 https://t.co/hOUvts0uzW— Anne Curtis-Smith (@annecurtissmith) April 1, 2020
Luzon, home to about half of the country's 100 million people, is under lockdown until April 12.
The Philippines as of Wednesday, April 1, has recorded 2,311 confirmed cases of COVID, with 96 deaths and 50 recoveries.