ABS-CBN expressed its support for actress Angel Locsin, who recently made headlines after a 67-year-old man collapsed and died while waiting in line at the community pantry she organized to celebrate her birthday.
In an official statement, the network said it "believes in the goodness of the heart" of Angel, "who in her personal capacity has tirelessly helped our countrymen in times of crisis."
"We admire her commitment to continue serving the Filipino people with selfless dedication and love. We stand by her and thank her for being a shining example of generosity, accountability, and compassion," ABS-CBN added.
In her own statement last Friday, April 23, Angel confirmed and apologized for the death of the elderly man, who was identified as balut vendor Rolando dela Cruz.
"Sa tingin ko, tama lang po na sa akin ninyo na marinig na totoo po ang balita na may inatake at namatay habang nasa pila ng community pantry. Senior citizen po siya na pumila daw po ng 3 a.m. at may naka-initan sa pila," the actress said.
"Humihingi po ako ng tawad sa pamilya. Kanina po pinuntahan at nakapag-usap po kami ng personal ng mga anak niya sa ospital. At habang buhay po ako hihingi ng patawad sa kanila," she added.
According to Angel, she will prioritize helping the family and will make it her responsibility to help them get through the ordeal.
"Ang nangyari po ay akin pong pagkakamali. Sana po’y wag madamay ang ibang community pantries na maganda po ang nangyari," she said. "I am very, very sorry."
The late vendor's family earlier said that they are not blaming Angel for his demise.
"Masakit pero wala naman may gusto na may ganito," said Jenifer Fosana, the vendor's daughter. "Hindi naman kami naninisi ng ibang tao kasi hindi naman nila ito ginusto."
Following the incident, the government of Quezon City issued guidelines on the organization of community pantries within the city to ensure the observance and strict implementation of minimum health standards.
It also called on those who went to the community pantry set up by Angel to avail of the city's free swab testing service