Sen. Pacquiao tests negative for COVID-19

By Aquiles Z. Zonio

GENERAL SANTOS CITY – Sen. Manny Pacquiao revealed on Saturday that he tested negative of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) after going through a test using the Rapid Test Kit donated to him by a close friend from South Korea.

“The Rapid Test Kit was being used in South Korea. In fact, the use of Rapid Test Kit was  already approved by health authorities there. Here, it is yet to be approved by the Food and Drugs Administration,” Pacquiao said.

Pacquiao bared that many had been convincing him to undergo COVID-19 test before the RITM, but he declined saying he wants to give utmost priority to ordinary Filipinos.
“I don’t want to add to the long queue of Persons Under Investigations who are waiting for their turn to undergo COVID-19 test,” Pacquiao said.

Some VIPs, especially politicians, were criticized in social media for being given preferential treatment by the government agencies conducting the Covid-19 test.

As of the moment, Pacquiao declared he has not shown any signs of symptoms.
“I am willing to undergo swab testing anytime if I experience symptoms,” he said.

Pacquiao added that immediately after attending in the Senate’s March 23 special session he went on a self-quarantine in compliance with the health protocols imposed by the government.

The Senate approved during last Monday session the proposed measure giving President Duterte an emergency powers to address the coronavirus disease (Covid-19)  outbreak in the country.

In a 12-0 vote, the upper house approved Senate Bill No. 1418 or the “Bayanihan to Heal As One Act” authored by Senate President Tito Sotto III and Senator Pia Cayetano.

Pacquiao issued an official statement in reaction to the declaration issued by the Dasmarinas Village Association (DVA) putting him in the list of Persons Under Monitoring (PUM).

“Even before I received the letter coming from Dasmarinas village chair Rosanna Hwang, I already adopted a self-quarantine measure,” Pacquiao said in a statement.

“Starting March 23, upon arrival home from the Senate special session, I have not gone anywhere. I just stayed home with my family,” Pacquiao stated.

Pacquiao said he was eager to attend the recent turn-over rites of the 57,600 Test Kits donated by his Chinese friend Jack Ma to the Manny Pacquiao Foundation, but he decided to just stay at home.

In a mobile phone interview, Pacquiao said “As a leader we should set a good example to our people. We must obey the law.”

Pacquiao added that he felt sad that some of his esteemed colleagues in the Senate turned out positive for Covid-19.

“I was considered as Person Under Monitoring for attending the Senate session and interacting with my fellow senators.  It is part of my sworn duty. So I understand and I don’t begrdge Dasmarinas Village Association for declaring me as PUM,” the Mindanaoan senator said.

He urged all Filipinos to cooperate and follow the law to help the government efficiently combat the COVID-19 scourge.


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