BINATIKOS ng kanyang mga kasamahan sa University of the Philippines ang executive vice president ng pamantasan at Health Undersecretary na si Teodoro Herbosa Jr. makaraan nitong sisihin ang mga community pantries sa pagkamatay ng isang senior citizen habang naghihintay ng libreng pagkain kahapon sa Quezon City.
Sa kanyang post sa Twitter, inilarawan ni Herbosa ang pagkamatay ng senior citizen na si Rolando dela Cruz na “death by community pantry” at sinabi pang “I told you so!”
Isa rin si Herbosa sa mga adviser ng Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
Humingi naman agad ito nang paumanhin sa kanyang post na aniya ay “ill-judged.” Naghain na rin siya ng leave of absence mula sa unibersidad.
“It may have sounded like a criticism but was ill-judged, when many are facing hardships & being helped by these kind hearted souls,” aniya.
“I apologize to sincere organizers of community pantries who were hurt. I continue to reflect on the impact of my behavior. I assure you this has nothing to do with the institution that I serve, the University of the Philippines. I have filed a leave of absence while I reflect on my actions & this misstep,” dagdag niya.
Hindi naman pinaglapas ng UP Department of English and Comparative Literature si Herbosa sa ginawa nitong pag-uugnay sa mga community pantries sa mga makakaliwang grupo.
“As one of the highest officials of UP, Herbosa must be held accountable for conflating community pantries with the CPP,” ayon sa kalatas ng departments.
“We would be quick to call out such ludicrous illogical leaps in any of our classes; we cannot let this pass in an even more crucial and potentially life-threatening context,” dagdag nito.
Sinabi pa sa kalatas na, “Herbosa’s recent statements endanger not only (Maginhawa community pantry organizer) Ms. (Ana Patricia) Non but also all UP students, faculty, staff, and alumni who participate in and contribute to the community pantries.”
Hirit ni Gene Nisperos ng UP College of Medicine: “If this is the kind of adviser the IATF has, no wonder our pandemic response isn’t just failing. It is persecuting the poor!”
Sinabi naman ni Ceclia Jimeno ng Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology na dapat humingi ng tawad si Herbosa sa buong UP community.
Todo-tanggi naman si Herbosa na sinisisi niya ang mga organizer ng community pantries sa pagkamatay ng senior citizen.
“Organizers of community pantry should make sure of the safety first in every endeavor of all the people lining up. That is their responsibility. I am not against community pantry. Who is against kindness and giving help? But I am against violation of public health standards,” paliwanag niya.