Palace reacts to officials violating quarantine procedures: “There are no exemptions for any person on these health protocols”

Malacañang Palace reacted to public officials who reportedly violated quarantine procedures and still went outside of their homes despite being persons under investigations (PUI).

According to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, they’re going to wait for the result of the investigation of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) once the accused were already face charges from their complainants.

They also assured the people that they’re not going to give special treatment to the public officials proven violating health protocols.

Here’s the statement from the Presidential Spokesperson:

“The Palace has received reports that certain officials who are considered persons under either investigation or monitoring, pursuant to issued guidelines, have allegedly breached protocols set by the government through the Department of Health.

The reports being aired in the open are, however, conflicting; hence, the Office of the President deems it appropriate that the same be formally evaluated by the concerned agencies upon a complaint or otherwise to ascertain the true facts behind the incidents.

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. They are not meant to discomfort or burden anyone. They have been established to ensure that public health and safety are secured at all times. There are no exemptions for any person on these health protocols. Those holding high positions in the government are enjoined to set an example to their constituents by strictly observing them.

The equal protection clause of the Constitution imposes equal treatment to all. Any transgressor, therefore, must be dealt with in accordance with the law.”

Yesterday, two public officials, Senator Koko Pimentel and House Committee on Appropriations chairperson Eric Yap are facing possible charges for still going outside their homes while waiting for their test results.

Both of them apologized already for their mistakes and asked for understanding.

“Humihingi ako ng patawad at pag-unawa mula sa mga taong nakasalamuha ko. I was paranoid dahil may kaunting ubo akong naramdaman but I felt it was normal for me,” said Yap in a statement.

“I’d like to extend my apologies to the Makati Medical Center. Please tell me how I can make it up to you,” Pimentel said on a separate statement, “just allow me in the meantime to recover and of course please give focus on my wife and the two lives which are involved here, which are at stake,” 

According to the Department of Health (DOH) PUIs should quarantine themselves while waiting for the result of their test.

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