Python alert: House of Representatives COVID clean-up reveals snake pit

Published August 19, 2020, 10:23 AM

by Ben Rosario

A COVID-19 clean-up drive at the House of Representatives resulted in the discovery of a reticulated python at the Batasang Pambansa grounds in Quezon City on Tuesday.

A House security personnel disclosed that the python was discovered “sleeping” a few meters from the perimeter fence while  ground maintenance workers were starting to clean the complex.

The python, measuring around four to five feet, was captured and brought to the nearby security post. 

“Naghihintay po kami ng instruction kung ano ang gagawin sa sawa (We are still awaiting for instruction on what to do with the python),” a source from the security office said.

The python was turned over on Wednesday to the Biodiversity Management Bureau – Wildlife Rescue Center.

Officials have already been informed of the discovery.

Regular sessions have been suspended in the Lower House  in the past two days to give way to massive disinfection and clean-up following a spike in the number of COVID cases among employees and officials.

Work is also suspended on Wednesday in commemoration of the Manuel Luis Quezon Day in Quezon City.

The maintenance personnel were cleaning up the grounds when they found the python.

As of Tuesday, the Lower House confirmed that 47 employees and officials are infected with COVID-19.  Four have died, including Senior Citizens Partylist Rep. Francisco Datol Jr.

Aside from Datol, other lawmakers who tested positive for the disease were Deputy Speakers Johnny Pimentel (PDP-Laban , Surigao del Sur) and Mujiv Hataman (NP, Basilan), and Reps. Samier Tan (PDP-Laban, Sulu) and Henry Villarica (NUP, Bulacan).

Noting that a COVID-19 positive employee may have infected fellow congressional workers, House Secretary General Jose Luis Montales warned that disciplinary action against personnel found guilty of violating health and safety protocols will be imposed.

“Let us be clear: we shall impose appropriate penalties for violations of our health and safety protocols. Everyone is forewarned,” Montales said in a viber message addressed to workers of the legislative chamber.