On fake Fb accounts and sick APORs

by Fernan A. Gianan

The public is warned against the proliferation of fake accounts on Facebook, which could be used by their unscrupulous creators in scams or by trolls to create posts using your name, something which could get you in trouble with private persons or the government.

We found out last weekend that my name has been used in three other Fb accounts, prompting us to immediately notify Facebook of the bogus accounts so that it could be deleted.

It would be better to keep your account private, limiting access only to your friends.

In the light of the approval and pending signing of the Anti-Terror Bill, the proliferation of fake Facebook accounts is probably being instigated by trolls so they can use the accounts in other people’s names to either support the bill or criticize it, which could be used as evidence of support for terroristic activities and hence, subject to warrantless arrest and detention.

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Last Saturday (June 6, 2020), a community empowerment facilitator of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for its Kalahi-CIDSS program arrived in Baras town, having boarded the ferry at Tabaco port on the same day from Legaspi City, Albay.

On Sunday, June 7, he was already confined at a local hospital after health authorities apparently learned that he had been suffering from fever, cough and colds since May 27, or 10 days before his travel to Catanduanes. An alert team leader of the town’s Human Resources for Health (HRH) had noted the man’s condition and reported the matter to the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at the capitol.

Why he was allowed to board the ferry by the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) at the port of Tabaco is now a mystery that need to be solved along with the question of why his health condition was not checked at San Andres port upon arrival.

The 50-year old man may be suffering from an ordinary “trangkaso” but the fact that he was already exhibiting the symptoms of coronavirus infection should have been cause enough for the port authorities to hold him for quarantine or even confinement at a hospital.

An informed source says that a week earlier, the DSWD regional office sent a letter to Governor Joseph Cua requesting that their Kalahi-CIDSS facilitators, which are considered as Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APOR), be allowed to travel to the island and resume work without undergoing 14-day quarantine.

The matter was reportedly brought up for approval of municipal mayors at the June 3 meeting of the Catanduanes Development Council (CDC) but it was calendared under other matters. Unfortunately, the meeting adjourned before the DSWD request could be taken up.

The confined DSWD field worker from Albay is only the first of many facilitators who are returning to the island after spending the lockdown period in their respective towns in the mainland.

To prevent any such cases from causing fear among the populace, port authorities in Tabaco, Virac and San Andres should strictly implement the existing protocol that any traveler, whether Locally-Stranded Individual or APOR, who exhibits high fever and other COVID-19-like symptoms should be immediately placed under quarantine.

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Also last weekend, officials and residents of a coastal barangay in Bato town were rattled when a man from Metro Manila arrived to visit his boyfriend.

They refused to allow him entry, even refusing his request that he be allowed to undergo quarantine at the barangay. Later, his male partner was allowed to keep him confined inside his house.. It is not known how the man, who is not a native of the island, was able to travel to the island with such a non-essential reason.

If he went home through the Balik Happy Island Program (BHIP), he might have falsified his identity or place of residence. If not, then he could have hitched a ride on board one of the numerous cargo trucks traveling to and from the metropolis.

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In a similar development, it is claimed that a brother of last week’s victim of a fatal stabbing in Virac came home to mourn his kin.

One particular businessman was aghast to learn that his employee was among those who engaged in a drinking session with the visitor, with whom all of them used just one glass in drinking liquor. The trouble was that, according to a Calatagan Tibang resident, the visitor’s wife had tested positive for COVID-19 in Sampaloc, Manila.

Capitol sources are wondering how the man was able to cross the Maqueda channel and pass through the PPA controls without a travel authority. He apparently presented only a copy of his brother’s death certificate and a health clearance from his barangay in Sampaloc.

In contrast, the sources claim, another traveler who wanted to come home to bury her child in Virac was not allowed to do so by the Tabaco port manager, who insisted that inter-province travel requires a travel authority.
IATF guidelines allow such travel for medical and humanitarian reasons but this was not accepted by the PPA official despite a personal appeal from the governor.

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We regret our failure to request permission from Mr. Avelino Teves Jr. of Banawang, Bato for the Tribune’s use of the photo of his electric bill for our frontpage photo. We are genuinely sorry for this failing to crop out the top portion of the bill that contained your name and address. Again, our sincere apologies.

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THE ACCURSED DIAMOND. At dinner, a lady turns to the woman next to her and says:     “My, that’s a beautiful diamond you’re wearing. In fact, I think it’s the most beautiful diamond I have ever seen!”

“Thank you,” replies Judy. “This is the Plotnick Diamond.”

“The Plotnick Diamond? Is there a story to it?”

“Oh yes, the diamond comes with a curse.”

“A curse?” asks the lady. “What curse?”

“Mr. Plotnick.”

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