Daughter of patient who died of COVID-19 pens open letter  

by Jojo Gabinete
Mar 13, 2020
Liza Paqueo (left) on her mother Nida Paqueo: "She died alone without her loving family and friends around her. She was cremated, alone, without ceremony or tribute."
PHOTO/S: Facebook

Hindi artista o kilalang personalidad si Liza Paqueo.

Pero kahanga-hanga ang ginawa niyang paglantad upang ibahagi sa lahat ang malungkot na karanasan ng pamilya dahil sa pagpanaw ng kanyang inang si Mrs. Nida Paqueo.

Pumanaw si Nida noong March 11 dahil sa COVID-19. Siya ay 67 taong gulang.

Hinikayat ni Liza, sa kanyang mahabang Facebook post kahapon, March 12, ang lahat ng mga nakahalubilo ng kanyang mga magulang na mag-self quarantine sa loob ng 14 araw.

Kung may ubo at sipon, kumonsulta agad sa doktor o mga tauhan ng Department of Health.

Si Nida ang asawa ni Dr. Vicente Paqueo na nagpositibo rin sa COVID-19.

Si Dr. Paqueo ang resource person sa hearing ng Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture noong March 5.

Ang pakikisalamuha kay Dr. Paqueo ang pangunahing dahilan kaya nag-self quarantine sina Senators Sherwin Gatchalian at Nancy Binay, pati na rin si Senator Bong Revilla Jr. na seatmate ni Gatchalian sa senado.

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DOH PUBLIC ADVISORY

Ang Paqueo couple ang subject ng public advisory na inilabas ng Department of Health kahapon, March 12:

"PH35, who experienced symptoms on February 29, was admitted last March 5, 2020 at the Manila Doctors’ Hospital, and swabbed for testing last March 8.

"The patient who tested positive last March 11 passed away around noon of the same day due to severe pneumonia.

"The patient had existing medical conditions, namely hypertension and diabetes mellitus.

"PH35 was admitted together with her husband PH34 who remains confined in Manila Doctors Hospital."

Ang mag-asawa rin ang tinutukoy sa statement na inilabas ng Rockwell Land Corporation tungkol sa dalawang residente ng Joya North Tower na nagpositibo sa COVID-19.

“As of March 11, 2020, we can confirm two positive cases of COVID-19 in Joya North Tower, Rockwell Center, Makati,” saad ng official statement ng Rockwell Land management kahapon, March 12, na nasa report ng GMA News.

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LIZA PAQUEO'S FACEBOOK POST

Walang intensiyon si Liza na maghasik ng takot sa desisyon nitong ibahagi sa publiko ang nangyari sa pamilya nila.

Gusto lamang niyang mahinto ang mga mali at malisyosong balitang kumakalat tungkol sa kanyang mahal na ina at ama.

At para higit na maunawaan ng publiko ang mensahe na nais niyang ipahatid, dalawang bersiyon—Ingles at Tagalog—ang inilabas ni Liza sa kanyang Facebook page.

Hiniling niyang ibahagi ito ng sinumang makababasa.

Narito ang mensahe ni Liza Paqueo:

"Dearest family and friends:

“A few hours ago, my beautiful mother, Nida, was cremated. She died alone without her loving family and friends around her. She was cremated, alone, without ceremony or tribute.

"My father is alone as well. He is at a Manila hospital, in stable condition and in quarantine. But he is in deep grief over the loss of his wife of 47 years--the love of his life. My brothers and I are together here in the United States, but we are not allowed to visit my dad.

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"We are not allowed to manage and advocate for him. It has been painful not just for my nuclear family but for all our extended relatives and friends who love my parents and cherished my mom.

"To compound the grief and pain, rumors and malicious misinformation have circulated on social media about my parents. This has all resulted in panic, violence, threats and stigmatization of our family and loved ones. Disclosure of private information has circulated as well.

"My post yesterday on her death was a tribute to her life and an announcement of her passing.

"On behalf of our Paqueo/Cortes/Kostreci families, we would now like to issue this statement:

- My mother Nida Cortes Paqueo died shortly after her 67th birthday. She was healthy and fit. She went into the hospital on March 5 with localized pneumonia.

- A couple of days later, my father was admitted into the hospital.

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- On March 11 local time (March 10 US time), my mother passed away. On March 11, we also received the news that she had COVID-19. My father also has tested positive for COVID-19.

- My brothers and I are here in the US.

- All family and friends who have been exposed to my parents are in isolation and quarantine.

- The Department of Health is now working with the hospitals and my father on epidemiological protocols around this infection.

- My parents are in Manila. In fact, they have not been to their hometown of Surigao City in several months.

- In addition, they have not traveled anywhere domestically or internationally. They have not been to Siargao, Singapore, Australia, etc.

- No one knows how they contracted COVID-19, but Manila is a crowded, internationally mix city of 13 million people. Speculations as to where they got it from is unknown, and we are leaving that to the Department of Health.

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- If you have been around my parents between February 29 (when my mother first reported symptoms) and her death on March 11, then we encourage you to self-isolate for 14 days. And if you have a fever and a cough, please report to the Department of Health. It is the responsible thing to do. There is no stigma with this disease.

"It is DANGEROUS, counterproductive, libelous, and ignorant to spread false information that could result in harm to our family and friends. BUT it can also be dangerous to public health and welfare. Please stay calm. If you have questions, contact me.

"Our family has been in constant communication with infectious disease specialists, medical professionals and with each other to be socially and medically responsible. If you have any questions or fears, please do not hesitate to ask us questions.

"HOWEVER, please do respect our family during this extremely painful time. We want to concentrate our energy and our prayers on our father's recovery (sadly from afar) and not on quelling damaging and dangerous rumors and threats.

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"We ask for your continued love, support, healing energy and prayers for my father and for our extended community. Thank you. Maraming Salamat."

TAGALOG VERSION

"Sa aming mga kamag-anak at mahal sa buhay:

"Marami sa inyo ang nakaka-alam na ang mahal naming ina, si Nida Paqueo ay sumakabilang buhay. Yumao siya na nag-iisa; ang kanyang bangkay ay na-cremate na walang nakaligid. Ang aming ama ay lubos ang lumbay sa pagkawala ng kanyang minahal ng 47 na taon. Siya ay nag-iisa rin ngayon at walang kasama sa ospital.

"Kaming tatlong anak nila, ay naninirahan at naririto sa Amerika. Hindi kami nakadalaw noong nakaraang taon, at hindi rin kami makauwi ngayon dahil ipinagpayo ito ng aming ama, para sa kaligtasan ng lahat. Lubos na sadlak at kalungkutan ang ibinigay sa amin ng mga pangyayaring ito, ngunit nakakaragdag pa sa aming dalamhati ang bulongbulungan sa Internet tungkol sa aming pamilya.

"Ang kinahahantungan nito ay mga masamang palagay sa aming pamilya, na may kasama pang banta ng karahasan. Mayroon pang nagbunyag ng mga pangsarili naming kaalaman.

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"Ang aking pahatig kahapon sa inyo ay iniukol kong parangal sa aming ina at pagbabalita sa kanyang pagyao. Sa pangalan ng pamilyang Paqueo/Cortes/Kostreci, ay ninanais kong ipabatid sa inyo itong aking pahayag:

• Ang aming ina si Nida Cortes Paqueo, 67 na taon, ay yumao noong Marso 11 dahil sa pulmonya. Malusog at malakas siya bago nagkasakit. Pumasok siya sa ospital noong Marso 5 at lumala siya habang nasa ospital. Ang aming ama ay pumasok sa ospital noong Marso 7.

• Noong Marso 11, pagkayao ng aming ina, ay natanggap naming ang balita na ang ikinamatay niya ay impeksiyon galing sa COVID-19. Ang pagkasuri sa aming ama ay nagsabi na siya rin ay may impeksiyon na COVID-19. Sa awa ng Diyos ay matatag ang kalagayan ng aming ama sa ospital, hanggang sa ngayon.

• Kaming tatlong magkakapatid na anak nila (ako at ang dalawa kung kapatid na lalaki) ay naninirahan rito sa Amerika.

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• Nabanggit ko sa umpisa na hindi kami umuwi sa Pilipinas ng nakaraang taon at maski naming ninanais na umuwi ngayon upang makasama ang aming ama, ay hindi naming magawa ito dahil sa payo ng aming ama. Iniisip niya ang kabutihan ng madla.

• Lahat ng kaibigan at kamag-anak na nakihalubilo sa aming magulang ay nakabukod na ngayon sa kuwarentina. Tinutulungan ng aming ama ang Kagawaran ng Kalusugan (Dept of Health) na magbigay ng payo sa mga ospital para mapigil ang pagkalat ng COVID-19.

• Bago sila nagkasakit, ang aming ama at ina ay naninirahan sa Maynila. Hindi sila dumalaw sa Surigao ng nakaraang apat na buwan. Hindi rin sila lumabas sa ating bansa sa panahong ito at walang galing sa ibang bansa na dumalaw sa kanilang pinaninirahan. Dahil dito, walang nakakaalam pa, kung bakit sila nagkasakit ng COVID-19. Ang Kagawaran ng Kalusugan (Dept of Health) ay nagsisiyasat sa kasalukuyan.

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• Kung mayroon sa inyo na nakaligid sa aming magulang simula noong Pebrero 29 hanggang Marso 11, iminumungkahi namin na kung mabuti ang inyong pakiramdan, ay huwag kayong makihalubilo sa ibang tao hanggang makalampas ang 14 na araw. Kung mayroon kayong lagnat at ubo, magkonsulta kayo sa manggagamot o sa Kagawaran ng Kalusugan (Dept of Health).

"Masakit sa aming loob, mapanganib, at walang ikabubuti ang magkalat ng balitang walang katotohanan tungkol sa aming pamilya. Kami ay nasa gitna ng kalungkutan sa pagyao ng aming ina. Ipinakikiusap namin sa inyo, na sumama sa amin sa pagdasal na sana ay gumaling ang aming ama.

"Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat."

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Liza Paqueo (left) on her mother Nida Paqueo: "She died alone without her loving family and friends around her. She was cremated, alone, without ceremony or tribute."
PHOTO/S: Facebook
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