“Dignity is not negotiable. Dignity is the honor of the family.” Vartan Gregorian
By Alex P. Vidal
SOME people may avoid us if we are infected with Ebola virus, but will sympathize with us nonetheless for humanitarian reasons.
If we are thieves, people will not only avoid us but will also denounce us, stab us in the back and question our culture.
Between having an Ebola disease and being a thief, we prefer the former.
Much better, of course, if we don’t have any contagious disease and with zero criminal record.
Some of us prefer to die of Ebola or others diseases than to live with a tarnished name because of graft and corruption.
In death, there is dignity if our integrity is intact.
In life, we die a thousand times once our dignity has been besmirched by dishonesty and crimes against moral turpitude.
It’s better to suffer instant death than to continue living and pretending as if everything is normal even after we were caught in flagrante delicto with our hands in the cookie jar.
Acting Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Janette Loreto-Garin should not begrudge critics who expressed “worries” when she and Armed Forces chief-of-staff Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang went to Caballo Island to visit quarantined Filipino peacekeepers, who arrived from Ebola-hit Nigeria early this month, without wearing protective masks as required by the World Health Organization (WHO).
If we were Loreto-Garin, we would gamely accept the criticisms without showing any emotion, and prove those Doubting Thomases wrong.
How? Assure them that if she shows some signs of Ebola infection, she would resign immediately and isolate herself for medication before going to an exile in an island.
Loreto-Garin, 42, should also prove to all and sundry that she is not a corrupt public official; and it’s OK to die anytime as long as her name and the legacy of the Loretos of Leyte and the Garins of Iloilo are preserved and not tainted.
Meanwhile, when she attended the senate budget deliberations on November 24, Loreto-Garin was not treated shabbily.
In fact, Senators Bongbong Marcos and Bambam Aquino kissed her and shook her hand.
It was Senator Tito Sotto III who first expressed alarm and even requested Loreto-Garin, Catapang and others who went with them in the island to undergo quarantine.
He was among the senators who refused to come near Loreto-Garin during the budget hearing.
Loreto-Garin appeared panicky in her initial reactions when the unprotected visit tumult erupted last week: “I am not perfect. I might have lapses. But in critical situations like this, I will not do it without proper protocol on the proper guidance of the experts.”
She added: “People were asking, why not wait for the 21st day. If you wait for the 21st day, the decisions needed that time cannot be made.”
The DOH has repeatedly announced that Ebola virus is not contagious unless an infected person showed symptoms.
The peacekeepers on Caballo Island have been cleared of the virus and are just undergoing quarantine as part of protocol.
The symptoms of Ebola include fever, muscle pain, headache and sore throat followed by vomiting, diarrhea, rash and in some cases internal and external bleeding, reported the WHO.