Actress Angel Locsin committed a serious mistake when she invited her fans via her social media pages to go to her community pantry, where a 67-year-old vendor who has been in line before sunrise, fainted and eventually died in a hospital on Friday.
Barangay Holy Spirit Chair Felicito Valmocina said Locsin’s post that everyone is welcome gave him the chills.
“I asked my information technology staff to trace it. Her Facebook followers 21 million, in Instagram 8.6 million, in Twitter 12.6 million. So that is why all these people came over because of her post,” Valmocina said in Filipino.
The fatality, Rolando dela Cruz, was among the thousands who hoped to get free goods from Locsin’s community pantry along Holy Spirit Drive in Don Antonio Heights, Barangay Holy Spirit in Quezon City.
Dela Cruz did not even get a glimpse of the actress, who said she organized the pantry to mark her 36th birthday.
Valmocina said Locsin’s camp sought their assistance two days before and requested only for two tanod (watchmen).
He thought it would only be a small community pantry, judging from their request, but he doubted it, owing to Locsin’s popularity.
“I was monitoring from 5 a.m., there were already a hundred people. Then 6 a.m., 7 a.m., 8 a.m., the crowd was already at 2,500. The lines have reached COA (Commission on Audit) near the Commonwealth Avenue Market. It was almost at two kilometer long,” Valmocina said in Filipino.
Valmocina then decided to deploy about 70 watchmen for crowd control.
Valmocina said he already sought the advice of lawyers on what steps to take next.
He will also take up the matter with Mayor Joy Belmonte and other village officials.
The Quezon City government earlier said it was not informed about Locsin’s pantry.
In a statement, Belmonte said, “it would have surely made a difference” had they been advised about Locsin’s pantry.
“Advanced coordination will allow all stakeholders to be proactive, rather than reactive. Sadly, in this case, we were not advised regarding any plans,” she said. SOVEREIGNPH