Makati village urges Pacquiao, family to self-quarantine; senator says 'will always follow the law'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 27 2020 09:21 PM | Updated as of Mar 27 2020 10:21 PM

MANILA - A Makati City village on Friday ordered Sen. Manny Pacquiao and his family to undergo home quarantine due to exposure to persons diagnosed with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The senator is considered a person under monitoring (PUM) after a photo of him partying with Sen. Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, who was recently diagnosed with the contagious infection, went viral, Rossana Hwang, barangay chairman of Dasmariñas Village, said in a letter dated March 27.

In a message to ABS-CBN News, Pacquiao said he will always follow the law.

His staff added that Pacquiao and his family have isolated themselves since after the Senate special session earlier this week.

Pimentel on Wednesday revealed he had been diagnosed with COVID-19 and drew heavy criticism for visiting a hospital even when he was already experiencing symptoms and while other senators had gone on quarantine for earlier exposure to a virus carrier at the Senate. 

"Many of your colleagues in Senate have been identified to be COVID positive. Therefore you have to be quarantined at your own house," Hwang wrote in the letter.

According to Jake Joson, Pacquiao's special assistant, Pacquiao and his family have already quarantined themselves prior to the village notice.

Joson said the party Hwang was referring to happened on March 4, while Pimentel said he could've contracted the virus afterward.

According to Joson, after Pacquiao attended a special Senate session on Monday, the lawmaker and world champion boxer hasn't left the house.

Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri was the first senator diagnosed with the virus and said Friday he no longer had symptoms. Sen. Sonny Angara, meanwhile, said Thursday he had tested positive for the virus. 

Several other senators have tested negative for the virus but drew criticism for getting tested even without experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

The village chief said nobody from the Pacquiao household should come outside. If they need anything, the village could help them procure things.

"This was the recommendation of doctors from Makati Medical Center who is also a resident here. And recommended by Makati Health Department," Hwang said.

"Please be a model example," she added.

In response to the letter, the senator said his family were already undergoing home quarantine.

"Sen. Manny says he will always follow the law," Pacquiao's camp said in a statement sent to ABS-CBN News.

Pacquiao's special assistant Jake Joson also said the senator's family was already in quarantine even before the village chief sent the letter. -- With reports from Sherrie Ann Torres and Dyan Castillejo, ABS-CBN News