MANILA - The mayor of Baggao town in Cagayan province who tested positive for COVID-19 denied Tuesday allegations that she violated health protocols after a picture of her not wearing a face mask during a public event surfaced online.
“I don’t think so. Yung temporary na pagtanggal ng face mask, temporarily po 'yan. Whole day po akong may gamit na face mask. Hindi po all the time nakalagay dito yung face mask natin. Pag uncomfortable na po you have to remove it kasi ikaw mahihirapan,” Mayor Joan Dunuan said in an interview on ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.
Dunuan said she replaces her face mask after removing it due to sweat. She said she takes off her face mask from time to time when it becomes uncomfortable to use it.
“Totally ni-remove ko po ang face mask ko. Usually pag nasa labas ako at mainit, sweaty po ako kaya ang face mask ko basa na, tumutulo na po ang pawis at nadudumihan na po, usually tinatanggal ko po 'yan for replacement po talaga,” she said.
"From time to time nagtatanggal po ako kasi very uncomfortable lalo na basa na po,” she added.
The Cagayan Provincial Information Office, citing a report from a radio station, said that Dunuan tested positive for COVID-19.
Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba has issued a memorandum order to Dunuan to explain the viral videos and pictures circulating online.
The mayor, meanwhile, said there was nothing wrong with attending the event as gatherings up to 50 percent of the venue’s capacity was already allowed that time when the town was under a general community quarantine.
“That time nasa GCQ po 'yung mga gathering na ganyang 50 percent allowed po. May social distancing at saka regularly sin-shoutout nung nag-a-announce na wag pong magumpok-umpukan,” she said.
She lamented that photos of her without a face mask and dancing in a crowd were being used to malign her reputation.
“Yun pag take ng picture it was taken surreptitiously. Isa kasi yun na reason,” she said.