IATF receives more reports of COVID-19 related harassment, discrimination; warns those committing such acts

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles


(Eagle News) – The Interagency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease again warned those who are committing acts of harassment and discrimination due to fears about COVID-19, saying that they will be charged and penalized in accordance with the Bayanihan to Heal as One Law.

Cabinet Secretary and IATF spokesperson Karlo Nograles repeated the warning on Monday, April 6, after receiving reports that the family of a patient who died due to coronavirus in Iloilo were being harassed, and that rocks were being hurled at their house.

The family had earlier decided to come out in the open to say that they are persons under monitoring (PUMs) for COVID-19 since the head of the family had been found positive with the virus.

But instead of receiving compassion, their houses was even attacked after their father had passed away due to COVID-19.

Nograles said that the IATF is denouncing such acts in the strongest possible way.

He reiterated to the public that all those committing such acts of discrimination will be penalized.

Nograles said that the public should not discriminate against the following persons: persons suspected to have COVID-19 such as PUMs, and persons under investigation (PUIs), those who have recovered from the disease, or event the confirmed COVID-19 cases; overseas Filipino workers who came after completing quarantine, as well as other OFWs; health care workers and other frontliners in the fight against COVID-19.

Hindi po ito nakakakakatulong. The government will act on these cases of discrimination whenever and wherever these happen,” he said.

Nograles also urged local government units to issue ordinances to penalize such acts.

He encouraged the public experiencing harassment to report such cases to the government for prompt action.

-Volunteer lawyers lauded-

He also lauded lawyers who have volunteered to help in the filing of cases against those who will attack, harass or discriminate against health workers and COVID-19 cases.

Among them are lawyers of the University of the Philippines College of Law who called themselves “Volunteer Lawyers Against Discrimination”. Nograles also gave out their contact number (09177052333)

(Eagle News Service)