Scores of incensed Pinoys are demanding justice for a 33-year-old woman who died underneath a Pasay City footbridge after reportedly waiting for five days for a Bicol-bound bus that would have taken her home to her family.
A report from the Pasay City Police that was released only yesterday said that Michelle Silvertino, a domestic worker and mother of four, was found unconscious at E. Rodriguez in Barangay (village) 159 at about 4:30am on Friday.
A concerned bystander told the police that Silvertino had a high fever and experienced difficulty breathing. The police then sought the help of village officials but claimed that the officials ignored them. The cops then went to fetch Silvertino, but upon finding her unconscious, brought the victim to the Pasay General Hospital were Silvertino was found dead on arrival at exactly 5:25am that same day.
Silvertino was also subjected to a swab test to check if she had the coronavirus, but the police report did not say when it took place. Her death certificate, issued on Monday, said that the victim had a probable severe case of COVID-19.
Jhimbo Mojica, a street clearing operative who spoke to the victim said that Silvertino’s employers, who lived in Antipolo, Rizal brought her to the bus terminal in Quezon City on May 31, in the hopes that she’d be home in Bicol the next day under the general community quarantine. When she found out that there were no buses, Silvertino walked from Quezon City to Pasay City with her luggage in tow.
Silvertino’s friend Nathanael Alim Alviso, who said she was in contact with the worker prior to her death, wrote on social media that Silvertino was waiting five days along EDSA, and was initially asked to leave the footbridge by the city’s street cleaners. After explaining that she wasn’t a homeless person but a stranded passenger, Silvertino was allowed to stay.
An infuriated Alviso also claimed that on top of poor support, the deceased mother had been robbed of cash.
“The cash that she’s supposed to bring home to her four kids is missing. Their dad upped and left, and now their mom is dead,” Alviso lamented.
“She had PHP6,000 [US$120] savings [that] she will bring home yet they left her there among the wolves. You didn’t even bother taking her to the bus terminal where there are guards, well-lit areas, and decent waiting benches,” he said in English and Filipino.
“She had a fever and difficulty breathing, but local village officials ignored [the report] probably because she is not a resident. What a great emergency response you have. NO RESPONSE!!!” Alviso added.
The local government of Pasay City meanwhile, confirmed that her body was buried at the Pasay Cemetery, and vowed to extend aid to Silvertino’s family.
Her death led to outrage online, with people using the hashtag #JusticeForMichelleSilvertino to blame the government for her death.
“She’s a victim of the faulty government and its messed up priorities. How about instead of focusing on the good-for-nothing anti-terror bill, the administration focuses on the actual issues at hand?” wrote @ohmyqveeen.
Michelle Silvertino. Say her name. She's a victim of the faulty government and its messed up priorities. How about instead of focusing on the good-for-nothing anti-terror bill, the administration focuses on the actual issues at hand?#JusticeForMichelleSilvertino
— || a (@ohmyqveen) June 10, 2020
“I normally dont get affected by the PH gov incompetence since [I’ve] long accepted it, but this one made me cry. My heart bleeds for the mother and her children. This is just too much. Just too much,” a hurt @Crimsonlyyours wrote.
I normally dont get affected by the PH gov incompetence since I long accepted it, but this one made me cry. My heart bleeds for the mother and her children. This is just too much. Just too much.#JusticeForMichelleSilvertino
— Crimson (@CrimsonlyYours) June 9, 2020
While @bangonbabae put her foot down, tweeting in all caps, “THE INCOMPETENCE [IS] KILLING LIVES. ENOUGH!”
THE INCOMPETENCE ARE KILLING LIVES. TAMA NA! #JusticeForMichelleSilvertino
— Padahyun!!! (@bangonbabae) June 9, 2020
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This article, Justice demanded for mother who died after waiting for Bicol bus for 5 days, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!