Mass hysteria fueled by fake news reports that downplay government action and fan the flames of panic have once again come to a head in the shooting of a hospital worker in Quezon province. The ambulance diver was shot in the hand after getting into a heated argument with a hysterical man who did not want the ambulance parked inside the subdivision.
According to the Candeleria Municipal Police Station, the incident happened in Maliwanag Subdivision in Barangay Malabanban Norte in Candelaria, Quezon province at around 9 p.m. on Thursday, April 2. Both the suspect, Ramil Alcantara, and the frontliner victim, ambulance driver Sofronio Ramilio, lived in the subdivision.
The police report detailed how the suspect drew his firearm and fired it at the ground to threaten Ramilio. The healthcare worker sustained a minor injury in his right index finger when it was stuck by debris caused by the ricochet of the bullet. He was brought to the Peter Paul Medical Center of Candelaria Incorporated for medical treatment.
Ramilo was eating a late dinner at home before reporting for work when the suspect confronted him.
Alcantara has since been detained by police while a physical inury complaint was prepared against him.
PPMMCI, where Ramilo worked, condemned he incident as violent harassment and an attack on healthcare workers.
Despite Ramilo’s explanation that the ambulance was used to ferry medical personnel and regularly disinfected, the suspect pointed a gun at the ambulance driver and shot.
Public discrimination against frontliners, PUIs and PUMs has grown locally and across the globe as fear takes over reason in the fight against COVID-19. In the Philippines, the proliferation of fake news against the administration has given rise to radical distrust in government action against COVID-19, despite the Philippines actually pursuing one of the most aggressive containment policies in Asia.