The Palace confirms that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, together with Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” T. Go, will have themselves tested for COVID-19.
While PRRD and Senator Go do not have the symptoms of the virus, they have opted to undergo the test to ensure that they are fit and healthy to perform their duties as government workers. They are undertaking this pre-emptive step as per advice of health officials given that they have regularly engaged with Cabinet officials, some of whom have opted to undergo self-quarantine as they were exposed to those infected with COVID-19.
The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases will meet today, March 12, to discuss urgent measures that will be undertaken to respond to the recent disturbing development vis-à-vis the COVID-19.
The Palace urges the public to observe and practice the protocols on personal hygiene and social distancing established by the DOH to help contain the disease. The Palace also reiterates its appeal to our countrymen to stay calm yet vigilant, as well as not to believe or spread any false information on COVID-19.
The Office of the President hereby gives warning to those hoarding vital commodities, which create a hike in the prices, as well as selling them beyond their regular prices, that their actions will be dealt with accordingly in pursuance of public safety and order. Those who unscrupulously take advantage of the health crisis will also be arrested and dealt with in accordance with law.
The resort to hate messages or posts in social media channels and other platforms will do more harm than good, especially during this time which should be seen as an opportunity for the Filipinos to unite in the face of the health threat. We similarly ask media outlets to refrain from exaggerating or amplifying reports that may only affect the mindset of the public and instead help in disseminating helpful tips on how to prevent the spread of the virus.
As for the government, the Office of the President assures the public that it is undertaking all necessary and appropriate measures to contain the virus and protect the people from being contaminated therewith.
Salvador S. Panelo
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel
& Presidential Spokesperson