Bulacan lawmaker tests positive for COVID-19

MANILA — Bulacan Rep. Henry Villarica tested positive for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), House Secretary General Jose Luis Montales confirmed on Thursday night.

Villarica is the second member of the House of Representatives to contract the virus after ACT-CIS Party-list Rep. Eric Go Yap tested positive earlier Wednesday.

Montales noted that Villarica last reported for work at the House of Representatives in Quezon City on March 4.

“On March 8, he attended an event hosted by Baliuag Mayor Ferdie Estrella, who was reported earlier to have tested positive,” Montales said.

“Rep. Villarica was admitted to the hospital on March 12 for pneumonia. His condition is stable,” he added.

Montales said members of Villarica’s staff have not exhibited any symptoms of the coronavirus.

Yap became the first House member infected with Covid-19.

Yap attended a meeting at Malacañan Palace on March 21 and the Congress’ special session for Covid-19 on March 23 before he learned that he tested positive for Covid-19.

The Presidential Security Group said Yap could face charges for his alleged misdeclaration on his health condition when he attended the recent meeting at Malacañang.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said public officials must follow the strict enforcement of the quarantine protocols set by the national government to contain the spread of Covid-19.

Panelo said all government workers, especially those considered patients under investigation (PUIs) or persons under monitoring (PUMs), are not exempted from the implementation of the quarantine protocols.

“The protocols set by the government for persons under investigation or monitoring must be strictly and absolutely observed by all people falling under the said categories, regardless of their socio-political status,” Panelo said in a press statement.

Panelo’s statement came after Senator Aquilino Pimentel III, who tested positive for Covid-19, earned the public’s ire for supposed breach of infection and containment protocols.

Strict home quarantine must be observed by all PUIs and PUMs.

Makati Medical Center (MMC) on Wednesday slammed Pimentel for visiting the hospital’s premises to accompany his pregnant wife, Kathryna, despite being under strict home quarantine for suspected Covid-19 infection.

Pimentel, in a statement on Wednesday, said he only knew that he tested positive for Covid-19 when he was at MMC with his wife on March 24. (PNA)

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