Masbate’s Jason Arevalo: Stop romanticizing death of death of frontliners


Masbate Senior Provincial Board Member Jason Arevalo said that those frontliners who died in line of duty were not lucky, but martyrs.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said that those frontliners who died because of the coronavirus disease 2019 were “lucky” because they died for the country.

“May mga doktor na, mga nurses, attendants, namatay. Sila ‘yung nasawi ang buhay para lang makatulong sa kapwa. Napakasuwerte nila. Namatay sila para sa bayan. Iyon ang dapat ang rason na bakit tayo mamatay,” Duterte said in a televised speech.

However, Arevalo said that the death of these health workers should not be romanticized.

“They are not heroes. They are martyrs and victims of institutional neglect, bureaucratic red tape, misplaced priorities and lack of preparation, corruption and under-estimation,” said the local politiko.

“They aren’t lucky they died for their country. Ask the ones they have left behind. Empty praises and eulogies won’t bring them back,” he said.

According to Arevalo, the best way to honor them for their sacrifices is to “secure the lives of their kind, to protect their comrades with the required gear and equipment.”

“To ensure no medical frontliners will ever die because they don’t have protection suits or they have to improvise on protective gears or recycle used ones,” he said.

“Perhaps, these fallen frontliners are heroes. Not necessarily for their countrymen but for those of their kind who are still alive and fighting. Their fate opened the need for the others in their fields to be secured, provisioned and protected,” added Arevalo.

He explained that at this point, the country doesn’t need more “medical” heroes because we want all of them alive.

“We save the lives of frontliners, we save those of others. And ours, too.”