Swab results of pantry ruckus fatality awaited; kin monitored

Swab results of pantry ruckus fatality awaited; kin monitored

MANILA – Officials of Quezon City’s Barangay Holy Spirit are monitoring the health of the family of the elderly vendor who died on Friday after lining up for hours at the community pantry organized by actress Angel Locsin.

Village Chair Felicito Valmocina, in an interview Saturday, said the Covid-19 test result of 67-year-old vendor Rolando dela Cruz will be released on Sunday or Monday.

Isolation protocols will be immediately enforced in the event of a Covid-19 positive result.

Valmocina said they will also facilitate dela Cruz’s wake.

“Standard procedure po ‘yang pag-test sa kanya dahil nasa maraming tao siya bago siya mawalan ng malay at mamatay kalaunan (He was tested for Covid-19 because he was with the crowd before he fainted and eventually died),” he told the Philippine News Agency.

He urged anew organizers of community pantries to coordinate with them to prevent a repeat of the incident.

“Meron po kaming policy dito sa aming barangay. Kailangan po ng letter of request na naka-address sa akin at personal ko silang kakausapin about sa plan nila sa kanilang pamimigay (We have a policy here in our village. They need to submit a letter of request addressed to me and I will personally talk to them about their distribution plans),” he said.

In a news release on Saturday, Mayor Joy Belmonte said permit or clearance will not be required for the operation of community pantries as long as items are provided for free and organizers coordinate with village officials regarding reasonable crowd control measures.

There should also be a cut-off time for persons in a queue, limited number of persons daily or for certain periods such as morning or afternoon, and marshals to enforce health protocols and disperse overcrowding.

“Law enforcement shall refrain from intervening except in cases of manifest breach of health or safety protocols,” Belmonte said.

Valmocina said helping the needy is commendable but safety protocols must be followed.

“More than 50 associations na ang nag-community pantry sa barangay ko pero ang sistema namin ay door-to-door dapat ibigay at identify na agad ang mahihirap na dapat bigyan (More than 50 associates have already set up a community pantry in our village but we follow a door-to-door distribution system and identify the indigents who should be the beneficiaries),” he added.

As of this posting, Valmocina said they have not talked again to Locsin or her camp. Lade Jean Kabagani / PNA – northboundasia.com