MANILA, Philippines — A grieving mother turned to social media to voice out her disappointment with Senator Antonio Trillanes through a Facebook post on Friday, September 9.
Jophine Pontillas Saldo poured her heart out in a heartbreaking open letter addressed to Senator Trillanes, who has been the talk of the town these past few days. In the message, Saldo recounted her daughter’s exhausting battle with Acute Myeloid Leukemia for years. Her daughter passed away on September 1.
Michelle Ericka, Saldo’s daughter was sent to Taiwan due to the fact that the doctors and medical facilities here in the Philippines could not cure her case. The treatment and medicine Michelle needed was not readily available locally. Saldo claims that the Philippine government does not uphold any laws regarding leukemia, hence why they needed to fly to Taiwan in the first place.
The open letter took a more serious and accusing tone when she blamed the senator for not extending enough help towards her daughter’s case.
“We voted you to act and make laws for the sovereign people republic of the Philippines vested interest but look what is happening. I ask your help and your office give us 5000 guarantee letter from DOH. Masabi lang po may naitulong kayo. Bakit sa DOH galing yun? Sana kung nagawa lang kayo ng batas dyan siguro sa ngayon libre na gamot sa leukemia or kahit ang cbc nila?”
Saldo accused Senator Trillanes of incompetence. She said that P5000 financial aid that was given to them meant nothing to the grieving mother. She said it felt more like a slap to the face that the government couldn’t provide them with better healthcare.
Moreover, Saldo couldn’t help but note how the government seemingly ignores the needs of leukemia patients. Aside from the lack of medicine and treatments in the Philippines, she bitterly mentioned the apparent lack of data and statistics for leukemia patients in Philippine General Hospital.
A report about “Improving Access to Leukemia Treatments” published by Business Inquirer in 2013 notes how our country handles leukemia cases poorly.
“Unfortunately, our country’s social health insurance is still being enhanced. As such, most Filipinos pay for their healthcare expenses out of pocket. A patient’s financial status definitely influences cancer treatment choice and duration. The sad reality is that Filipinos who belong in the lower to middle socioeconomic bracket will not be able to afford optimal cancer treatment.”
In the end, Saldo pleaded for the government to pay attention to cases like these. She’s still waiting for her daughter’s body to arrive from Taiwan.
Meanwhile, her heartfelt open letter went viral with roughly 5,900 reactions and about 7,000 shares. Netizens expressed their condolences and sympathies to Saldo’s family.
What can you say about this story? Was the grieving mother justified in blaming a Philippine Senator for her daughter succumbing to leukemia? Share your thoughts and opinions below.
SOURCE: Facebook.com/jolo157 | Business Inquirer