Officials of a barangay in Porac, Pampanga have found themselves in hot water after they barricaded with galvanized iron sheets the home of a pregnant woman who tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
According to Nico Waje's report on “24 Oras”, the home of the patient was barricaded from the front gate to the backyard.
“Pumunta dito ‘yung barangay. Nagpaalam po sila na haharangan po ‘yung bahay which is barriers lang po, ‘yung malayo sa gate,” a housemate of the patient said.
“Dumating ulit sila, tapos nagpaalam na po sila na babakuran so pumayag na po kami. Tapos kumain na po kami no’n. Pagkalabas po namin after kumain, pagkakita po namin nakaharang na po ‘yung mga yero,” she added.
The housemate said the barangay officials came after they learned from the Department of Health that a woman living in the house had tested positive for COVID-19.
The patient received her test results on Saturday but had been self-isolating since last week after coming into contact with her husband, who is also COVID-19-positive.
“Meron siyang maliit na maliit na butas para doon kunin, nilalagay ‘yung mga pagkain na galing sa mga kamag-anak namin. As in, wala po kaming makitang sasakyan, tao. Kami kami lang po,” the housemate said.
She also lamented the poor treatment they received from the barangay.
“Para po kaming mga kriminal tapos gano’n po ‘yung ginawa nila sa’min. Parang ang sakit naman po para sa’min. Ano po ‘yun, parang baboy kami, parang zombie na kinulong dito,” she said.
“Pagka po positive ka tapos ang dami pang stress, parang made-depress po siya,” she added.
Porac Mayor Jing Capil immediately ordered the removal of the barricade upon learning about the incident.
According to the barangay secretary, the chairman was not aware that the barangay tanod had barricaded the patient’s home instead of the street where she lives like what he had told them to do.
The secretary added that the barangay chairman had the barricade removed.
The barangay officials also apologized to the patient and her housemates.
“Hindi natin puwedeng itrato ng gano’n ang mga COVID patient natin. Hindi sagot ‘yun laban sa virus ‘yung ganoong klaseng approach ng barangay. Ang dapat is tulungan natin sila,” Pampanga Governor Dennis Pineda said.
The asymptomatic patient has since been transferred to the New Clark City for isolation.
The patient and her housemates are still set on filing charges against the barangay officials. -Julia Mari Ornedo/NB, GMA News