Jennica Garcia could not help but speak out after she and fellow rescuers drew flak for apparently not wearing masks during rescue operations, which she said is untrue.
The actress urged the public to not hate on rescuers over accusations that they were not following COVID-19 protocols, as seen on her Instagram post yesterday, Nov. 14.
“Wag na po sanang batuhan ng HATE pa kaming mga rescuers (I hope you would stop from throwing hate toward us rescuers). In the previous post that I made. ALL THE PHOTOS WERE FROM OUR PAST RESCUE AND MEDICAL OPERATIONS. KAYA WALANG MASK (Which is why we wear not wearing masks),” she stressed.
“I shared the photos to show proof that Alliance Search And Rescue (ASAR) is on the field when [calamities] strike,” Garcia explained. “Hindi naman kami sumesweldo sa serbisyong aming ibinibigay para makarinig pa ng kutya mula sa iba sainyo. Pasintabi naman po ng kaunti.”
(We do not not earn money from the services we provide just to hear hate from some of you. Have some shame.)
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The actress was referring to her Instagram post on Nov. 13 where she introduced ASAR as a non-profit organization that provides education-based rescue, search and medical operations in the country.
The said post came with many photos, some of which show that they were not wearing masks as these were taken pre-COVID-19. Some netizens, however, apparently bashed her and the team for supposedly disobeying health protocols.
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Garcia’s post yesterday also came with the screenshot of her comment on another one of her posts on Nov. 12, showing her and fellow rescuers without masks as they carry boxes of donuts.
In the said comment, she explained that they were not wearing masks at the time because they were eating when someone suddenly approached them to give them donuts.
She also disclosed that sometimes, they would have to remove masks during operations when these get wet or muddied and need to be replaced. Garcia assured that they immediately wear a new one once on dry land.
“Hindi ko lang po lubos maisip na ganitong klase ng emergency kinakailangan ko pa magpaliwanag kung bakit walang mask sa litrato. Sino ba ang may gusto na tamaan ng [COVID-19]?” Garcia stressed.
(I just cannot fathom how in this time of emergency, I still need to explain to others why some photos show us not wearing masks. Who wants to get COVID-19?)
She then thanked those who have been sending out their prayers and messages of gratitude, but disclosed that she feels shame sometimes as she still gets nervous during operations.
“Tumatakbo sa isip ko ang bata pa ng mga anak ko. Pero paano diba? May training ako, nag commit ako na ialay ito sa nangangailangan kulang sa man power alangan pumirmi lang ako sa bahay,” Garcia said.
(Sometimes, I think of how young my children are. But what can I do? I have the training and I have committed to offering this to those in need, especially when they lack manpower, instead of just staying at home.)
“Dasal na lang po kung walang hindi magandang masasabi dahil lahat naman tayo iisa ang hangarin. Ang isalba ang buhay ng mga taong sumisigaw ngayon mismo sa oras na ito para sagipin sila at tuluyang mabuhay sa mundo,” she added.
(Just pray for us if you do not have anything good to say because all of us just want one thing: to save the lives of the people who are screaming for help right now just so they can get rescued and continue living in this world.)
Those interested in donating to ASAR so they can get the necessary equipment for rescue operations can check out its several donation channels posted on Instagram.
Garcia is one of several celebrities who have extended a helping hand to those affected by Typhoon Ulysses, which ravaged parts of Luzon from the night of Nov. 11 to the morning of Nov. 12. It has been compared to 2009’s Typhoon Ondoy because of the devastation it has brought on the country. JB