By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao on Saturday clarified that he has been under home quarantine since their special session in Senate last week.
Pacquiao responded to the letter sent to him by the exclusive Dasmariñas Village telling him and his household to stay quarantined after hosting a gathering attended by Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, who tested positive for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“Nais ko pong linawin na bago ko pa man natanggap ang sulat mula kay Barangay Captain Rosanna Hwang, nakapagsimula na akong mag-home quarantine (I would like to clarify that even before I received the letter from village chief Rosanna Hwang, I have been under home quarantine),” he said.
“Pagkatapos po ng Special Session sa Senado noong Lunes, March 23, ay hindi na po ako lumabas ng aming bahay (Since after our special session in Senate last Monday, March 23, I have not been going out of our house),” he added.
Pacquiao said he was also well aware that he was classified as a person under monitoring since his colleagues Pimentel, Sens. Juan Miguel Zubiri and Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, contracted the disease.
In the letter that has been making the rounds on social media, Hwang told Pacquiao to have himself quarantined “for your own family and household’s and community safety”.
“No one, including any of your household, can come out,” she said, adding that the barangay can procure things for him and send them to his house.
She urged Pacquiao to be a “model example” and stay home.
Pacquiao lamented that he was even “excited” to turn over the 57,600 test kits donated by Chinese billionaire Jack Ma to his foundation “but opted to stay home”.
He also confirmed that he was negative for COVID-19 based on a rapid testing kit from South Korea, although this was not approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
According to him, “Matagal na po akong hinihikayat na magpa-test sa RITM ngunit nais ko pong ipaalam na wala po akong nararamdaman na anumang sintomas (I have been encourage by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine to undergo testing but I want to let people know that I have not been experiencing any symptoms).”
Pacquiao, however, said that he is still willing to avail himself of the government-approved testing if he feels sick.
“Once I experience symptoms, I am willing to undergo the swab testing for the sake of my family and my country, but I will go through the regular procedure. Naniniwala po kasi ako na marami tayong Persons Under Investigation o PUI na dapat unahin pagdating sa testing (Because I believe that PUIs have to be prioritized when it comes to testing),” he said.
Pacquiao assured that more testing kits and medical supplies will be donated for the healthcare workers and regional centers in the Visayas at Mindanao.
He appealed anew to the public to cooperate with the government in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.