MANILA - Senator Manny Pacquiao on Saturday denied rumors he partied with co-Senator Koko Pimentel, who turned out positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) amid videos surfacing of the two senators together at a gathering this week.
In a letter to Dasmarinas Makati chairman Rossana Hwang, Pacquiao said the picture of him and Pimentel together was taken at a PDP-Laban meeting at his residence last March 4.
"The picture that you may have been referring to, wherein I was seen interacting with Koko Pimentel and other officials was a political meeting with PDP-Laban members," he said, adding that the chairman's conclusion was "insensitive."
Pacquiao said he has been on self-quarantine since March 24, a day after the Senate convened to grant special powers to President Rodrigo Duterte to combat the spread of the disease.
He said he and his household have followed physical distancing measures, as mandated by health authorities amid a lockdown in Luzon over the pandemic.
He has also requested to have his quarantine pass delivered to his residence.
Photos and videos of Pacquiao and Pimentel together have gone viral after Pimentel tested positive for COVID-19. Pimentel, the ex-Senate President, has drawn flak for accompanying his wife to the hospital while on quarantine for the disease.
The gathering prompted the chairman to draft the letter, which has gone viral on social media.
Pacquiao, however, said the letter was a "total disregard to my right to privacy."
"It is in the best interest of our immediate community, and of the general public to refrain from making assertions or conclusions based on unverified news and malicious social media posts," Pacquiao said.
"We do not wish to cause unnecessary panic during these trying times."
-- Report from Robert Mano, ABS-CBN News