Beyond the virus: COVID-19 Special Coverage

Updated April 27, 2020 9:02 a.m.

  • Globally, more than 2.5 million people have been afflicted by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), killing thousands both here and abroad. But the pandemic is deadlier than one can imagine not just because of the virus itself but how governments around the world are turning to militaristic approach to avert the crisis.
  • In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte has issued a virtual marching order to “shoot dead” those who violate quarantine protocols. The lockdown is seen as a bid to quell the people’s unrest over the government’s poor response. The crisis has also further exposed the double standards and impunity under the Duterte administration.
  • Below are Bulatlat‘s coverage on COVID-19.

High court urged to direct gov’t officials to conduct mass testing

Bill seeking to implement mass testing filed

How the poorest Moro communities observe Ramadan during lockdown 

Global food security crisis not merely a ‘logistics’ issue 

Increasing deaths among health workers ‘alarming’ 

Mass testing for health workers urged anew amid spike in COVID-19 positive cases 

First Person | The virus of a broken world 

Address pressing issues rather than issuing threats, Duterte told 

Know your legal rights under ECQ 

Violating ECQ protocol is not a crime – human rights lawyers 

The Good Dogtor

Lockdown, poor social protection taking toll on children’s mental health

In lockdown: Kings of the road sidelined

VIPs? OFWs in the Middle East decry ‘insufficient’ government support

Mang Dodong and other faces of injustice during lockdown

Undocumented Filipino migrants among the hardest hit amid pandemic

COVID-19 is not an equalizer – community doc 

Martial law-like lockdown does not combat COVID-19 

Philhealth’s COVID-19 package means more debt for middle-income, poor patients

Informal workers find ways to earn, but still struggle because of lockdown 

Groups in 13 countries hold actions to demand right to public health, not profit 

Groups warn of possible increase in violence against women, children amid lockdown 

How to prevent ‘zoombombing’ 

Lumad solon to DA: Ancestral lands are not idle 

Debt-driven pandemic response unacceptable

Social amelioration program, inadequate, slow

Amid COVID-19 lockdown and land conflict, a village wages struggle to live

Alberta gov’t urged to expand healthcare coverage to uninsured OFWs during pandemic 

‘No, Thanks, I Don’t Buy This’ | A New World Order in the Time of the Corona Virus

How is the Duterte administration faring in the WHO mandate on COVID-19?

PH, 2nd highest COVID deaths in Southeast Asia

Power-trippers seek emergency powers against the Filipino people

The COVID-19 pandemic brings to the fore the economic divide

‘Granting power to realign budget violative of the Constitution’ — rights lawyers

Disastrous governance amid the pandemic

‘Use national government’s P6.10 billion of quick response funds for COVID-19 response’ – solon

Of pandemics and profits: How industrial agriculture is exposing humanity to killer outbreaks

‘Rights violators should be made accountable’ — lawyer

Constitutionality of ‘fake news’ provision can be challenged — lawyer

NBI’s summons on Vico Sotto ‘pure harassment’ – lawyer

Pasig, Marikina praised for COVID-19 response

Cuba’s help sought in fighting COVID-19 in Philippines

Special reports revisit the deteriorating public health system in the country. Tributes, too, were paid to health workers serving in the frontlines.


Why redeploying community doctors won’t do good for Cebu’s fight vs. COVID-19

What’s wrong with Secretary Duque?

PGH as COVID-19 center: Capacities and Implications

Under a fragmented health care, Philippines is ill-equipped in combating COVID-19

PGH staff in ‘the line of fire’ amid virus duty

‘Without mass testing, PH fighting COVID-19 blindly’ — doctors

Frontliners combat COVID-19 amid rotten public health system

Caring for your mental health in the time of COVID-19

Frontliners stage #ProtestFromWards to call for protection amid COVID-19 pandemic

Top cardiologist who died due to COVID-19 was ‘a tower of strength and leadership’

Protect mental health amid government lockdown, doctor urges

Cuba’s revolutionary health care system at the forefront against COVID-19

Instead of providing due services and mass testing, the Duterte administration turned into militarist approach in addressing the pandemic. Amid the lockdown, Bulatlat looked into various human rights violations and the impact of government response to the lives of Filipino people.

Duterte tagged as ‘worse than COVID-19 virus’

Human rights abuses in Southern Tagalog, other regions on the rise amid lockdown – group 

Reds refute military’s claims of arrests, surrender 

Ex-solon, relief volunteers released on bail 

Ex-Anakpawis solon, 6 aid volunteers remain in jail 

Police tags relief ops ‘anti-government,’ files charges vs ex-solon, aid volunteers 

Former lawmaker among arrested in Bulacan en route to distribute aid 

6 relief ops volunteers arrested sans charges 

Attacks on peasants persist even during COVID-19 pandemic 

UN expert alarmed at reports of police violence amid pandemic

Observe child protection laws during quarantine – rights groups 

Bayan Muna debunks Duterte’s ‘lack of budget for COVID-19’ rhetoric

Filipino seafarers lament lack of government assistance amid COVID-19

Lawyer files raps against Koko Pimentel over quarantine breach

‘Militarist’ COVID-19 response ‘may lead to bigger crisis,’ groups warn

Arrests in QC reveal lack of gov’t support to lockdown-affected residents

‘Heartless’ | Groups decry charges against QC urban poor

Lawyers’ group reminds authorities of citizens’ rights amid COVID-19 quarantine

Economic slowdown to worsen with COVID-19 lockdown

Mass detention happens due to government’s lockdown inefficiency

Harassment, red-tagging of farmers continue in Quezon amid lockdown

42 farmer-families in Bataan displaced amid lockdown

300 families in Pasay lose homes amid COVID-19 pandemic

Urgent medical response, not militarization of Metro Manila

Groups want free, accessible healthcare not troop deployment

5 questions on e-learning and fighting the pandemic

The plight of political prisoners was also brought to the fore amid reports of double standards during the lockdown.

Canada-based groups call for release of Filipino political prisoners amid COVID-19

Speedy decision on plea for release of sick, elderly, pregnant prisoners urged

Kin, supporters utilize social media in a bid to #FreePoliticalPrisonersPH

SC urged to release sick, elderly political prisoners amid COVID-19

Urgent action needed to prevent COVID-19 in detention facilities – UN Human Rights

#SetThemFree | Groups support campaign to release prisoners amid COVID-19 pandemic

Rights groups push for release of sick, elderly political detainees

No ‘social distancing’ for sick and elderly political prisoners

Release of elderly, sickly prisoners urged amid COVID 19

Long standing problems on the lack of basic social services and the wide economic divide were also highlighted.

‘Deeper in debt but shallow in COVID-19 response, aid to the poor’

Filipino parents, teachers face challenges over proposed blended learning

Artists, cultural workers call for immediate assistance amid lockdown 

Cops attempt to foil urban poor efforts to feed hungry amid COVID-19

‘Compassion and respect for human dignity should go with relief packs’

The poor are the narrowest targets of COVID-19

#COVID19Quarantine | Urban poor group reminds gov’t 4.5M Filipinos don’t have a home

No social distancing for commuters on 2nd day of quarantine

‘Inaccessible,’ ‘exclusionary’ DOLE cash assistance criticized

Lockdown in Italy: Testimonies of OFWs

500 families left homeless in aftermath of Cavite blaze

‘No work, no pay’ for GMA 7 talents

Palace OKs hazard pay for gov’t employees on duty in time of COVID-19

Lumad ‘bakwit’ school faces risk of virus infection, food shortage amid lockdown

Economic relief for workers urged amid COVID-19

Bulatlat also took note of the intensified repression against media.


In this timeline, Bulatlat enumerates all attempts to curtail free speech and press freedom while the country is placed under the enhanced community quarantine due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Arrest of relief volunteers is also an attack on free expression 

Cebu-based artist jailed for satirical post 

Harassment against detained Cebu artist continues 

Website of PH magazine hacked by unknown parties 

Why is government afraid of free speech?

Keeping our eyes on the ball: Human rights in the time of COVID-19

“Just because he is the president does not mean you don’t need to fact-check his claims.”

‘Fact-checking Duterte absolutely necessary at this time’

Campus editor threatened with libel for criticizing gov’t response on COVID-19

3 questions on campus journalism amid the COVID-19 pandemic

4 questions on ABS-CBN and the state of press freedom

Bulatlat denounces PCOO’s media discrimination and repression amid COVID-19 lockdown

11 questions on press freedom under Duterte

Media accreditation for COVID-19 coverage, prior restraint — groups

‘Arrest of GenSan teacher, son sets dangerous precedent’ – right group

‘Fake news’ mainly comes from gov’t agencies, officials – UP prof

“Fake news” provision threatens freedom of the press, expression

Academe, media groups urge PCOO to rescind media accreditation

NUJP asks Palace to reconsider media accreditation amid COVID-19 outbreak

Various groups took the initiative to help those in need – from providing educational campaigns to warm meals, and seeking urgent actions from the government.


‘Magiting’ | Filipino artists pay tribute to frontliners

Meet Yani, UP’s #COVIPH chatbot

Vendor gives goto to poor residents amid COVID-19 lockdown

Reds launch campaign against COVID-19

Groups use social media to help sectors hardest-hit by COVID-19 pandemic

Quezon City parish initiates measures to support pedicab drivers during quarantine

Youth groups use TikTok to press for medical solutions to COVID-19 pandemic

Women’s group provides warm meals for Marikina’s poor residents

Babangon Tayo, a song for frontliners and Filipino people

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