MANILA — Palace spokesman Harry Roque said on Tuesday he had no exposure to COVID-19 when he went to Boracay for leisure over the weekend.
Roque, who said Monday he was in isolation after being in contact with a staff who tested positive for the infectious disease, said he first went to Iloilo for a meeting, then proceeded to Boracay, where he stayed until Saturday.
Photos on social media show Roque on a diving expedition there.
He said he went back to Manila on Sunday and a member of his staff fetched him from the airport. From there, they went straight to a coronavirus testing facility.
Roque said he tested negative for the pathogen, while his staff tested positive.
"Maraming malisyoso na sinasabi na nagpunta raw ako roon maski alam ko na na-expose. Hindi po totoo iyan. Kalokohan po iyan," he told reporters in an online briefing.
(There are many malicious people saying that I went there even though I supposedly knew that I was exposed to a COVID-19 patient. That is not true. That is non-sense.)
"Iyong trip po to Visayas, hindi po, wala pa akong exposure doon. At hindi ko po kasama sa Visayas iyong staff ko na nag-positive."
(During my trip to Visayas, I had no exposure there. I was not with my staff who tested positive.)
Roque said he did not know where his aide could have been infected with the COVID-19 virus.
He denied that his trips flaunt protocols to curb the respiratory disease's transmission.
"I am always in 100-percent compliance with all the rules... I never violate the rules," he said.
Roque on Monday and Tuesday held his press briefings from home, as he remained on isolation.
The Philippines has logged 538,995 confirmed COVID-19 cases, as of Monday, including 27,992 active infections, 11,231 fatalities and 499,772 recoveries.