MANILA — Palace spokesman Harry Roque, who earlier disclosed he tested positive for COVID-19, dubbed as "fake news" on Thursday online rumors that he was quarantined at a luxury hotel.
Roque said he was at a hotel in San Juan being used as an isolation facility. Asked to address rumors that he was staying instead at the presidential suite of a pricey hotel in Pasay, he said, "That is fake news."
"Iyong tsinitsimis po na nandoon ako sa (the rumors that I am in) Pasay, I do not even know if we have the means to pay for that hotel," he said in a press briefing.
"Masyadong grabe po 'yan, 7-star hotel po 'yan. Ang alam ko po, 2- to 3- star hotels lang po ang kinukuha natin, including motels. Hindi naman po ako nasa motel."
(That's too much, it's a 7-star. From what I know, we only get 2- to 3-star hotels, including motels. I am not at a motel.)
The government has tapped some hotels to house patients with no or mild COVID-19 symptoms. These establishments are different from the hotels used for the quarantine of returning Filipino migrant workers, he said.
Roque earlier said he was asymptomatic. He said he was consulting his doctor if it would be better to go home because he has noticed that other people staying at his hotel seemed to have symptoms.
He said he has helped several people get accommodations at the hotel where he was staying, including a director from his office, a broadcaster on the government television network, and an undersecretary of a line department.
"The rooms are fast being occupied, and I understand we're also in full capacity," Roque said.
Roque earlier said he did not have close interaction with President Rodrigo Duterte during an event they attended last week.
Roque is the fifth Cabinet member to catch COVID-19, after Education Secretary Leonor Briones, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, and Public Works Secretary Mark Villar.
Video courtesy of PTV