MANILA (UPDATE) - A lawmaker said Monday he tested positive for COVID-19, confirming his diagnosis just hours ahead of President Rodrigo Duterte's penultimate State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the Batasang Pambansa.
Surigao del Sur 2nd District Rep. Johnny Pimentel said he underwent a swab test on Sunday morning and was informed later in the evening that he tested positive for the disease.
He is the chamber's 23rd case of COVID-19 after Sulu 1st District Rep. Samier Tan contracted the disease.
"Yes I had my swab test yesterday 8am in congress as requirement for #SONA2020. At 11:30 p.m. Dr. Dizon of Congress called me and told me I'm positive. Later on he sent thru my email the result also," Pimentel told ABS-CBN News.
The deputy speaker was supposed to be among 50 guests from Congress and the executive branch who will be present at the Batasang Pambansa when Duterte physically delivers his SONA.
He forfeits his slot in accordance with government's COVID-19 protocols, which mandates that those who test positive after the swab test on Sunday and the rapid test Monday morning shall not be admitted into the session hall.
--Report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News