“I am very, very sorry.”
Angel Locsin expressed her sincerest apologies following the death of an elderly man who lined up at the community pantry she set up for her birthday on Friday.
Posting a black photo on Instagram, Angel apologized to the family of the 67-year-old man identified as Rolando Dela Cruz, a balut vendor who reportedly waited as early as 3 a.m. in hopes of getting food assistance from the actress.
The actress learned that Dela Cruz had a heated argument with someone who jumped the line at the community pantry. It was earlier reported that he collapsed while in line. He was brought to the hospital but declared dead on arrival.
A deeply apologetic Angel vowed to “prioritize helping” the man’s bereaved family and make it her responsibility “to help them get through this.”
“Bago po ang lahat, humihingi po ako ng tawad sa pamilya. Kanina po pinuntahan at nakapagusap po kami ng personal ng mga anak nya sa ospital. At habang buhay po ako hihingi ng patawad sa kanila,” wrote Angel.
She continued, “Si tatay po ay isang masipag na ama na nagtitinda ng balut. Hindi ko man po sya nakilala pero sa pagkakakilala ko sa mga anak niya ay mabuti po syang ama at maayos nyang napalaki ang mga anak nya.”
Angel further shared the current situation at the community pantry located in Brgy. Holy Spirit, Quezon City.
“Sa ngayon po, tinatapos na lang po namin na mabigyan ang mga nakapila. Ang iba po sa kanila ay xerox na ang order sheet nila pero nauunawaan po namin na lahat po ay hirap ngayon at tama lang po na mabigyan sila.”
A fast lane with tents and chairs has also been put up for senior citizens, but Angel reiterated that seniors should abide by the IATF rules.
“Meron po kaming tinayong fast lane para sa seniors na tent na may upuan nung mapansin po namin na maraming senior citizens ang nakapila kaninang umaga.
“Pero hindi naman po ibig sabihin na ini-encourage po namin ang mga seniors na lumabas at alam po natin na bawal po according sa IATF rules.”
Angel said that they will donate and distribute the remaining goods and supplies to other community pantries and barangays.
“Ang nangyari po ay akin pong pagkakamali. Sana po’y wag madamay ang ibang community pantries na maganda po ang nangyari,” she said.
The city government, on the other hand, also promised to shoulder the burial expenses of Dela Cruz and extend financial assistance to his family.
“We are deeply saddened by the untimely death of Mr. Rolando dela Cruz, 67 years old, who perished during a community pantry organized by actress and philanthropist Angel Locsin,” QC Mayor Joy Belmonte said in a media statement.
“While Quezon City will continue to throw its full support behind community pantry initiatives, this unfortunate incident should serve as an important reminder for organizers to please be reminded of my appeal to coordinate all efforts with the barangay, and if necessary, with the LGU,” Belmonte said.
“Advanced coordination will allow all stakeholders to be proactive, rather than reactive,” she added.
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