Foreign Affairs chief Locsin tests negative for COVID-19 in Palace rapid test

Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 14 2020 10:00 PM

MANILA - Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said he tested negative for COVID-19 after undergoing a rapid test “as a precondition to entering” Malacañang. 

In a tweet, Locsin said he had to leave for the airport to see off stranded Canadians for their repatriation flight out of the country and will have to be tested again upon his return to the Palace. 

“I was rapidly tested, result in 10 minutes as a precondition to entering Malacañang. Negative! I left the Palace to the go to the airport to see off hundreds of Canadians. I need to go to the Palace again for another test. Karlo Nograles has had all his fingers punctured already,” Locsin said.

At the airport, Locsin vouched for a 2-year-old girl who was was initially denied exit. Netizen Lainy Filipchuk tweeted to thank Locsin.

“Our sincere and big thank you Secretary @teddyboylocsin for vouching for our 2-year old daughter who was initially denied exit. It was us at the airport earlier with my Canadian husband @JacobAzazel. Bless your heart together with your team!” she said. 

Locsin replied: “I felt I had to be there. You're on next flight. Canadian embassy had parachute team for such a contingency but you were late. I got ambassador's promise for you. Your husband was crying a lot. I never cried in my life. My friend cried when he got divorced: tears of joy.“

They were part of hundreds of Canadians assisted by the DFA teams in the provinces like Puerto Princesa in Palawan, Iloilo, Cebu, and Davao for their their sweeper flights to Manila. 

Puerto Princesa Airport photos from:

Davao Airport photos from: 

Iloilo photos from: 

Cebu photos from: 

Around 99 stranded Canadians, Americans, Swedes, Germans, Spaniards, and Singaporeans were assisted by the Bacolod consular office as they took their sweeper flight to Manila.

Meantime, the remains of the late Ambassador to Lebanon Bernardita “Bernie” Catalla are expected to be repatriated back to the Philippines Wednesday. Catalla passed away due to COVID-19. Locsin has previously said he wants a hero’s welcome for Catalla.

“But tomorrow I welcome a returning hero. One of many known unto God. She was loved by the world of diplomacy,” Locsin said.