On the allegation that the government has ordered a stop in counting the number of deaths

An allegation from a media broadcaster that the government, through the Department of Health (DOH), has ordered a certain hospital in Metro Manila to stop counting the number of deaths caused by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has, like any false news, spread.

The policy of the President as pronounced by him in his television message to the nation is to be transparent to the Filipino people on any aspect of governance, particularly as in the present crisis, in relation to COVID-19.

DOH immediately debunked such allegation and has ordered an investigation.

Such allegation against the government is absolutely bereft of logic as well as of common sense. What would the government get from concealing the actual number of deaths due to COVID-19? The government is precisely interested in knowing the number of deaths so that we will know the status of our fight against the coronavirus and we can undertake measures to improve our health system. Obviously, it’s false news.

The Palace reminds all citizens, especially those who are prominent media practitioners, to be more responsible in posting an unconfirmed information that they receive. It is more helpful to validate the same with the government offices concerned instead of publishing it which may be accepted by gullible netizens as true.

Salvador S. Panelo
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel
& Presidential Spokesperson