Pro-Duterte Vlogger Banat By didn’t deserve to get COVID-19, says actress Angel Locsin

<i>Photo: Angel Locsin / IG, Banat By / FB</i>
Photo: Angel Locsin / IG, Banat By / FB

Nevermind that pro-Duterte vlogger Banat By isn’t well-liked by government critics—he still didn’t deserve to get infected with the coronavirus, said Angel Locsin, who has often been on the receiving end of the influencer’s online tirades.

The polarizing social media personality, whose real name is Byron Cristobal, announced yesterday that he has COVID-19 and is asthmatic. Instead of attracting sympathy, scores of Filipinos ridiculed the vlogger, with some teasing that he probably joined a protest where he was infected with the virus. Cristobal often lashes out at Pinoys who participate in rallies, saying that they are contributing to the spread of COVID-19, including Locsin and other celebrities who joined demonstrations calling for the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise.

In a post, Locsin expressed sympathy for an unnamed influencer whom many assumed was Cristobal.

“I’ve been receiving messages about a vlogger who’s been habitually criticizing me and is now positive of Covid. Let’s not wish ill of him. Nobody deserves Covid,” wrote Locsin in a series of posts shared on her social media accounts.


Cristobal confirmed in a tweet that Locsin was referring to him and while grateful for the actress’s support, he accused his detractors of being members of the communist New People’s Army (NPA), but without offering any proof.

Red-tagging, or accusing someone of having links with the Communist Party of the Philippines, is illegal in the country.

“Ah, [It looks like] I’ve trended [thanks to] supposedly woke [members of] NPA. Anyway, thanks ms @143redangel, I am that blogger. Thank you again. For those who are the scourge of politics, we have something called a ceasefire when we’re talking about illnesses or death. The only people I know who don’t comply with a ceasefire are those from the NPA,” the vlogger said.

Cristobal got his vlogger alias from the word “banat,” a Filipino word that loosely means “to hit hard.” He has been known to come after public personalities critical of President Rodrigo Duterte, such as journalist Maria Ressa and even fans of onscreen loveteam Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla.

Despite Locsin’s kid-gloves treatment of Cristobal, Filipinos online showed no mercy towards the vlogger.

Users like @JhomadzG even made him this snarky black and white obituary, urging the “fake news peddler” to “stay positive.”

While @userlynn91 wrote, “Not following instruction from your boss. You should’ve drunk gasoline to avoid infections.”

The user was referring to Duterte’s suggestion to disinfect face masks with gasoline, a statement which the Health Department firmly rejected.

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