Makati won't declare 'Poblacion girl' persona non grata

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 04 2022 10:23 AM | Updated as of Jan 04 2022 10:24 AM

MANILA - Makati City will not declare Gwyneth Anne Chua, a returning Filipino who skipped quarantine and infected several others, persona non grata, Mayor Abby Binay said Tuesday.

Instead, Binay urged business establishments and individuals infected with COVID-19 to file charges against Chua after she skipped quarantine to go to a party in Poblacion, Makati.

"It is a solicited advise to all those affected because of her, the businesses affected because of her, I suggest you file a civil case for damages," she said in an ANC Headstart interview.

Four of the 12 individuals infected with COVID-19 following the superspreader event at the party that Chua attended were bar employees, the mayor said.

"The bars at Poblacion specifically have been the most affected because of COVID. It is only that we were Alert Level 2 that they were able to open. For the last 2 years they were not allowed to open," she said.

"They just started opening and this happens, and true enough, that was our biggest fear-- that it will be a superspreader."

The mayor said she was not considering to declare Chua "persona non grata."

"The level of persona non grata should be reserved for someone who really deserves it. She’s young, she’s callous, but she will have to suffer the consequences."

She said the city is preparing its complaint against the hotel that allowed Chua to leave quarantine. The Department of Tourism will also come up with its own recommendation against Berjaya Hotel, according to Binay.

"We’re already preparing our complaint. We have several options, we can suspend their permit, the DOT will come up with their recommendation as well. It’s an ongoing investigation with Berjaya," she said.

Makati currently allows walk-in booster vaccination to non-residents, Binay said.

"You just have to register first in the portal since we don't have your record. If you don't register only, you will have to register onsite," she said.

The Philippines has so far fully vaccinated 49.85 million individuals, while 57.15 million have received an initial dose as of Sunday, according to health department data.