PSG eyes raps vs infected lawmaker
The Presidential Security Group (PSG) plans to file charges against ACT-CIS party-list Rep. Eric Go Yap, who recently tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), for breaching security and health protocol when he attended a meeting with top administration officials on March 21 at Malacañang.
“(There is) an ongoing investigation, I already sent a team from our task force. If it is really necessary that we file a case against him, we will,” PSG commander Col. Jesus Durante III said.
Apart from some Cabinet members who have opted to go on self-quarantine, at least 20 people from the PSG and staff of the Office of the President were placed under quarantine procedures for
having direct interaction with Yap, House appropriations committee chair.
Palace officials said Yap has endangered the lives of people in the seat of power, which could have included President Duterte had he attended the meeting last weekend.
Duterte was not part of the meeting but among the attendees were Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, Sens. Bong Go and Pia Cayetano, Rep. LRay Villafuerte, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, Budget Secretary Wendell Avisado, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Presidential Adviser for the Peace Process Carlito Galvez and Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista, some of whom have opted to undergo self-quarantine.
While the PSG has been implementing strict security measures for all who are going in the Palace, Durante lamented that Yap seemed to have violated the rules.
“We are letting them sign a declaration form. The problem with Cong. Yap, he did not declare that he had contacts with people who were found positive and he has cough and that he has been experiencing some symptoms.”
.Under the PSG form, violators may face charges for violation of Article 171 and 172 of the Revised Penal Code, which is related to the crime of falsification of document which has a penalty of not more than P5,000 and imprisonment from two years, four months and one day to six years.
The PSG is mandating all visitors and officials to answer a declaration form which has questions pertaining to the history of travel, respiratory inspection and possible exposure to COVID-19 patients in the last 14 days.
It has a clause wherein the signatory vows for the veracity of the information with a warning that “failure to answer any question or any falsified response may have serious consequences under Article 171 & 172 of the Revised Penal Code.”
Durante said he does not think there were any lapses with PSG personnel but he has ordered a full-blown investigation.
Senator Go said it is unfortunate that Yap had tested positive for COVID-19.
“I’ve just been working the past few days. I don’t have any of the symptoms. But since protocol requires that those who were directly exposed to persons positive for COVID-19 need to undergo self-quarantine, I am left with no choice but to comply,” he said.
Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo urged those who have interacted with Yap to undergo 14 days self-quarantine protocol.
Año, one of the two lead implementers of the Luzonwide COVID-19 lockdown and designated as vice-chair of the National Action Plan against COVID-19, said that he has opted to go on self-quarantine effective March 25.