PSG may file charges against congressman who tested positive for COVID-19 after attending meeting in Malacañang
The Presidential Security Group might file charges against a congressman who was tested positive for coronavirus disease after participating in a meeting in Malacanang.
ACT-CIS party-list Rep. Eric Go Yap disclosed on Wednesday night that he was informed by the Department of Health that he was positive for COVID-19 after undergoing the test on March 15.
But on the night of March 21, Yap, who is the chairman of the House committee on appropriations, attended a meeting in Malacanang.
President Rodrigo Duterte was not present in the meeting. But Senator Christopher "Bong" Go, a close ally of the President, some Cabinet officials and other senators and congressmen were also present in the meeting.
On March 23, Yap also attended the special session of the House of Representatives.
PSG chief Col. Jesus Durante III, in an interview by state-run People's Television Network, said Yap failed to disclose all the needed information in the declaration form that the PSG has been asking all Palace guests to truthfully answer since the outbreak of COVID-19.
"The problem with Congressman Yap, he did fill up the form but he did not declare that he had contact with some people who were found positive and he has cough, he has been experiencing some symptoms. He did not declare everything," he said.
Durante defended the PSG members, saying he did not see lapses on their part.
"But I still have it investigated on what should be done, if we have to revise our forms, our measures and actually, on the part of the congressman, since he did not divulge everything, if really needed, we can file a case against him for the breach on what he did," he explained.
With what happened, he said up to 20 people, including six members of the PSG, Palace waiters and other staff in Malacanang, have been advised to undergo self-quarantine.
Durante said the PSG is currently restricting visitors in Malacanang and the meetings are also "very limited."
During the last meeting of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease early this week, he said Duterte just conducted a teleconference and phone calls with its members.
With the skeletal force in some offices in Malacanang, the PSG chief reminded all the employees to cooperate with the PSG and to be honest in disclosing all information.
"The bottomline he is that we are fighting COVID-19. So, this is actually for the safety and for good health of us not only for the President, this is for all of us," he said.
The PSG commander also said that they have been revising the declaration form with the possibility of adding in the questionnaire if the person undertakes a test and if so, why.
"So that could be one to find out. Actually for him (Yap), his explanation, he underwent testing because he was doubtful already. He has symptoms and he has contact to other person from that indicators, he should have declared that or he should have undergone self-quarantine," he said.
He said he already formed a team to investigate what happened.
"If it's really necessary to file a case against him, then we will," he said.
Yap apologized for what happened. Celerina Monte/DMS