By Ben Rosario
ACT-CIS Party-list Rep. Eric Go Yap revealed on Wednesday he has tested positive for COVID-19, and said the results came out days after he attended important meetings in Malacañang and the recent special session of Congress.
Yap’s presence at those official meetings, that were also attended by key officials of the executive and legislative departments, was important in view of his position as chairman of the House committee on appropriations.
“It is with a heavy heart that I share to all of you that I tested positive for coronavirus,” Yap revealed in the Lower House media Viber group.
The neophyte solon admitted having himself tested on March 15. Results showing him positive for the virus came out Wednesday (March 25).
He is the second congressman to be infected with the dangerous virus. The first was also a party-list lawmaker who is on his way to full recovery.
“After my testing, March 21, ipinatawag pa ako para sa isang pagpupulong sa Malacañang upang talakayin ang mga hakbang para sugpuin itong krisis na ito,” Yap explained.
(I was even called to a meeting in Malacanang to discuss measures to end this crisis.)
Present at the meeting that drew up plans for the passage of House Bill No. 6616 or the “Bayanihan as One” bill were Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, senators Christopher “Bong” Go and Pia Cayetano, and Deputy Speaker and Camarines Sur Rep. Elray Villafuerte.
Among the key Cabinet members present were Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista, and presidential peace adviser Gen. (ret) Carlito Galvez.
Yap also had possible close contacts with congressmen and dozens of staff who attended the Lower House’s special session on Monday.
As chairman of the appropriations panel, Yap presided over a hearing for the P1.6 billion supplemental bill on March 10.
“After that, it was business as usual for me, but I was careful as always,” he said.
After March 10, he met a number of people whom he may have also exposed to the coronavirus.
According to Yap, the result of the COVID-19 test he took on March 15 had not yet been released when he attended the two meetings.
“Humihingi ako ng patawad at pag-unawa mula sa mga taong nakasalamuha ko,” he wrote. (I ask the forgiveness and understanding of people I met.)
He explained that he was asymptomatic during the whole period, although he “felt paranoid” because he was having mild cough.
A number of Lower House employees have already been found positive for COVID-19, but many more have been tested and found clear of the disease.
One House employee, a certain Brandon, has died.