PSG may charge solon for breaching Palace COVID-19 protocols — Durante

Published March 26, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Argyll Cyrus Geducos

The Presidential Security Group (PSG) said it may file a case against ACT-CIS party-list representative Eric Go Yap for “endangering” a lot of people by breaching Malacañang’s protocol when he attended a meeting in the Palace Saturday.

PSG commander Jesus Durante III said he already ordered an investigation on the incident and will wait for the probe to be completed before deciding on filing a complaint against the sick lawmaker.

Yap revealed on Wednesday that he tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) a few days after he attended a meeting in Malacañang with other high-ranking Cabinet officials.

“Ongoing yung investigation. Nag-form na ako ng team (The investigation is ongoing. I already formed a team), actually a task force from the team. If it’s really necessary to file a case against him then we will,” he said Thursday.

“Umattend siya sa meeting involving itong mga (He attended the meeting together with our) other Cabinet secretaries and it really endangered everyone dito sa loob Palasyo (inside the Palace),” he added.

According to Durante, Yap did not declare that he was experiencing COVID-19 symptoms when he filled out the form handed out to Malacañang visitors.

“Based on his declaration form, he specified ‘No’ to every question. Wherein the mere fact ng mga statement naman niya na lumabas is dapat ‘Yes’ yung sagot niya sa iba (based on his statements, he should have answered ‘Yes’ in some of the items),” he said.

“He did not declare na may contact siya (that he was in contact) with some people who were found positive. He has coughs, he has been experiencing some symptoms, hindi niya lahat diniclare ito (He did not declare all of these),” he added.

“Talagang misdeclared lahat yung other items, not all the top items, yung nilagay niya. So isa yun, kaya pinapa-imbestigahan ko (Other items were really misdeclared. So that’s one of the things I had investigated),” he continued.


Durante said he already required six PSG personnel to undergo self-quarantine while he estimated the number of persons under investigation (PUIs) from the Office of the President (OP) to be at around 20 people.

“I’m requiring them (PSG personnel) actually to go on self-quarantine. May mga measures naman kami dito like daily check-ups for them, pinupuntahan sila ng mga medical teams natin (We have measures in place like daily check-ups for them. They are visited by our medical teams),” he said.

“It could reach up to 20 people kasi kasama dito yung (including the) support personnel, eh. Because from there, pagdating pa lang, processing pa lang, pagdating niya (when he arrived, he would have been processed, then) somebody would meet him, then assign him to a seat, search him. Itong mga waiters natin, then the staff na nandoon (We also have waiters and other staff) present at the meeting,” he added.

Update protocols

Durante said he ordered the investigation to determine if they need to change the measures they are implementing in Malacañang.

“I still had it investigated kung ano man talaga ang nararapat gawin dito (So we can tell what we should do about this). If we have to revise our forms, our measures,” he said.

“From the form alone, kung may idadagdag dito (we may add more items). One of the questions is kung nag-undertake ba siya ng test (if he underwent test for COVID-19). If the person answered ‘Yes,’ then bakit siya nagpa-test (then, why did he)? So that could be one, to find out,” he added.

Durante reminded Malacañang visitors to cooperate with the PSG.

“We are just reminding them to please cooperate with us, the PSG, and they should be honest in disclosing all this information,” he said.

“We are fighting COVID-19. So this is actually for the safety and good health of every one of us, not only the President, but para po sa ating lahat ito (for all of us),” he added.

Duterte meetings

Durante said the PSG has been implementing strict measures to keep President Duterte safe from the disease.

“We are actually restricting any visitors, even the meetings are very limited. [The] last meeting with the IATF, it was conducted via teleconference,” he said.

“Then phone calls, if necessary. But direct meetings, nawala na yun (we’re already doing away with that),” he added.