Lawmaker explains why he attended gov't meetings after being tested for COVID-19


Posted at Mar 26 2020 01:55 AM | Updated as of Mar 26 2020 06:02 AM

ACT-CIS party-list Rep. Eric Go Yap (left) poses with Camarines Sur 2nd District Rep. LRay Villafuerte, Sen. Bong Go and Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano at a Palace meeting in a photo dated March 21, 2020. Photo from Rep. Yap's official Facebook page

MANILA - ACT-CIS party-list Rep. Eric Go Yap said Wednesday he went to work despite having tested for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) because he was not exhibiting any symptoms of the illness.

"Pumunta ako dahil wala akong symptoms na nararamdamn like dizzy o hirap sa paghinga," he told ABS-CBN News.

(I went to work because I had no symptoms like feeling dizzy or having breathing difficulty.)

Yap later tested positive for COVID-19.

Before he was informed to have caught the highly infectious disease, Yap, chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, attended a meeting in Malacañang on March 21.

He said he maintained a distance from other officials as a precautionary measure.

"Hindi ako nagsasalita. Katulad sa picture, nakangiti lang ako doon. Sa picture, madalas malayo ako," Yap said.

(I wasn't talking. As seen in the picture, I was only smiling. In the picture, I was mostly far away from the others.)

ACT-CIS party-list Rep. Eric Go Yap poses with other officials at the Malacañan Palace. Photo from Rep. Yap's official Facebook page

On March 23, he also attended a special session at the House of Representatives to discuss the special powers bill sought by Malacañang to address the COVID-19 crisis.

He said he experienced 2 coughs per day, which he attributed to acid reflux that had been going on since January.

Asked why he didn't go on self-quarantine, Yap said, "Ang akin kasi, kunyari, paano 'pag nag-negative ako? Tapos andami kong hindi inattendan na trabaho at sasabihin oh kasi politiko ganito?"

(To me, what if I tested negative? And then people would say I didn't go to work because I'm like this, a politician?"

Yap, in a statement, apologized to those whom he may have exposed to the virus. 

"Humihingi ako ng patawad at pag-unawa mula sa mga taong nakasalamuha ko. I was paranoid dahil may kaunting ubo akong naramdaman but I felt it was normal for me," the lawmaker said.

(I apologize and seek understanding from people I mingled with. I was paranoid because I had a slight cough but I felt it was normal for me.) - With a report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News