A vlogger was arrested for pretending to be infected with the novel coronavirus by lying down at a mall entrance in Legazpi City, Albay last Sunday amid heightened fears over the spread of nCoV in the country.
According to a Pilipino Star Ngayon report, the suspect was identified as Marlon de Vera, an active vlogger and a resident of Purok 2, Barangay Bigaa in the city.
Police narrated that de Vera, who was at that time wearing a face mask, acted as if he was a victim of the deadly virus and laid down at the entrance of Yashano mall, causing panic among mall-goers. De Vera then got up and did some exercise.
The fake scenario was recorded and uploaded by some netizens and has gone viral on social media.
De Vera later on issued a public apology through his Facebook page after receiving backlash for his prank.
“Natatakot ako sa mangyayari, nabalitaan kung kakasuhan ako ng may-ari ng mall, hindi ko naman akalain na ganito ang mangyayari sa pagbibiro ko, gusto ko lang magpasaya, lahat kasi takot sa (2019) nCoV virus,” he stated.
In an ABS-CBN report, De Vera claimed, “Kasi dun po natin makikita how people react, kung matutulungan ka ba nila o hindi,” citing the incident of a Korean guy who was initially believed to be ill with the virus, but turned out to be just intoxicated.
“Kasi po di ba, napanood natin sa social media yung nangyari sa Koreano ata ‘yun na nangisay pero walang tumulong.”
Mall administrator Crispin Roderick Tormes said, “Hindi niya intensiyon yung ganun pero ipinaliwanang namin sa kanya ‘yung epekto ng kaniyang ginawa.”
After reaching a settlement with the management, Yashano mall decided not to press alarm and scandal charges against the Bicolano vlogger.