AFP chief of staff on quarantine after contact with COVID-19-positive soldier

Published March 24, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Martin Sadongdong

General Felimon Santos, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), disclosed on Tuesday that he has started undergoing quarantine measures after coming into contact with a senior military official who later tested positive for the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Armed Forces Chief-of-Staff, Gen. Felimon Santos (ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES / MANILA BULLETIN)
Armed Forces Chief-of-Staff, Gen. Felimon Santos

Santos, 55, said he has subjected himself to home quarantine for 14 days and is “working from the quarters” after learning that a senior military official, along with the latter’s wife, tested positive for COVID-19.

The AFP Chief confirmed that he has encountered the official in one military conference.

“Social distancing naman kami always kahit sa conference before. We maintain the one meter [social distancing],” he said.

“Just to make sure, [I] undergo the protocol for the safety of everyone. No touch kami ever since may virus. That is the protocol sa GHQ [General Headquarters],” he added.

Asked about how he was feeling, Santos said in jest: “Pag-ibig lang ang nararamdaman ko (Love is all that I’m feeling).”

Earlier in the day, Santos issued a statement saying that a senior military official and his wife tested positive for COVID-19.

According to Santos, the official has “a history of foreign travel.” He and his wife were admitted to V. Luna Medical Center in Quezon City as persons under investigation (PUIs) last March 15.

A source privy to the identity and condition of the senior military official said he is a one-star general assigned at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

The source said the official made contact with Senator Miguel Zubiri last March 11 during the confirmation of some military officials and reservists by the Commission on Appointment.

Zubiri announced last March 16 that he had tested positive for COVID-19 after a resource person in one Senate hearing in February was found to have contracted the disease.