Palace: Anyone who breaches gov’t health protocols must be dealt with by law
'There are no exemptions for any person on health protocols'
MANILA, Philippines — Anyone who breaches the government’s health protocols, regardless of their sociopolitical status, must be dealt with in accordance with the law, Malacañang said Thursday.
“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,” Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
Panelo also called on public officials to set an example by following these protocols meant to ensure public health.
“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,” he said.
“The equal protection clause of the Constitution imposes equal treatment to all. Any transgressor, therefore, must be dealt with in accordance with the law,” he added.
Panelo issued the statement after Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III supposedly breached quarantine protocols when he went to Makati Medical Center to accompany his pregnant wife despite getting tested for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Pimentel said he got a word from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) that he was positive for the virus while at the hospital.
The senator denied violating his self-quarantine on purpose, saying he already limited his movement after the last session of Congress on March 11.
“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,” Panelo said.
As of Wednesday, the number of COVID-19 cases in the country reached 626, of whom 38 had died and 26 had recovered.
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