Who is Michel­le Silver­ti­no?

Michelle Silvertino was one of millions of Filipinos who sought a better paying jobs abroad to feed their families. Fail to travel abroad, she worked as a maid in Metro Manila. Due to strict lockdown restrictions, she was not able to travel back home to her province. When restrictions were eased, she decided to go home to Bicol to be with her four children.

Silvertino first went to Cubao hoping to catch a bus ride from there. As there were no buses there, she then went to Pa­say City where she continued to wait in vain. Unable to catch a ride anywhere due to arbitrary changes imposed by the IATF, she decided to stay at a footbrige in the same city. She immediately ran out of money and food supplies. She got sick on the third day, but instead of being brought to the hospital, she was brought by the police to a precint. After exhibiting Covid-19 symptoms, the police decided to transfer her to a barangay hall.

Seeing there was no one at the barangay hall, the police decided to return her to the footbridge. She died the next day (June 5) and was buried in a shallow grave. It is clear that she died due to the regime’s criminal neglect.

A kilometer away from where Silvertino waited, more than 700 migrant workers and locally stranded individuals (LSI) also stayed under a bridge near the airport while waiting for their flights back home to their respective provinces. They endured surviving with minimal food supplies and no beds. They were only given attention by the government and transferred to an evacuation center after being met with criticism for its negligence.

Silver­ti­no and the 700 who are staying at airports are part of the 4.1 million LSIs who are being neglected by the regime. On top of its limited and slow program to tranport LSIs, the government is also profiteering from them by requiring them to apply for numerous requirements such as a barangay certifications, medical and laboratory examinations, IDs and travel au­tho­ri­za­tion from the police.