The government will not hesitate to prosecute anybody found violating COVID-19 quarantine protocols amid the recent uptick in pandemic infections, Malacanang said.
This as the government is poised to file a complaint against a Filipina traveler who tested positive for COVID-19 and skipped quarantine protocols to attend a party in Makati City—amid a warning from the Palace that such violations would be prosecuted, according to acting Palace spokesman Karlo Nograles.
The Department of Tourism (DOT) identified the woman as Ms. Gwyneth Anne Chua, who had traveled from the US and was supposedly placed under quarantine at the Berjaya Hotel in Makati on Dec 22. She was seen partying at a bar in the Poblacion district in the same city on Dec. 23.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said that the individual was able to skip the five-day mandatory quarantine due to “connections.”
Health Secretary Francisco Duque said the incident was a clear violation of IATF protocols and the law on notifiable diseases, Republic Act No. 11332.
Police chief Gen. Dionardo Carlos said they would check the hotel’s CCTV footage to see if Chua indeed had left the hotel.
“We have to make sure that there’s no room for doubt. So, we’ll check the hotel’s CCTV footage on the stay dates of the guest,” he said.
He added that a team of police contact tracers from Caloocan City interviewed Chua’s mother, who attested that her daughter never went home to Caloocan City but was in constant communication with her while in isolation.
Chua might have infected about 15 people with COVID-19 following her quarantine breach, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año earlier said.
“We will not hesitate to prosecute those who are violating the law. We won’t let this go. This is a public health emergency,” Nograles said in a Palace press briefing.
“You cannot let this go. It is important to follow the law for everybody’s protection and safety. Let us not think we can get away with it,” Nograles added.
Nograles reminded the public as well as establishments to strictly follow health protocols or risk facing sanctions.
Carlos said the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) has been ordered to file appropriate charges against Chua, the hotel owners and management, and Bureau of Quarantine personnel responsible for the breach.
Carlos said violators would be criminally charged immediately.