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Fontana denies involvement with supposed hospital for Chinese nationals

The Fontana Development Corp. (FDC) distanced itself from the supposed illegal health facility discovered in one of the Fontana Leisure Park villas which catered to Chinese nationals seeking treatment for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

In a statement, Fontana said it did not in any way condone any illegal activity within the property, and clarified that the villa was transferred and placed under the exclusive control of Shidaikeji Technology Corp., a longtime locator at the Clark Freeport Zone.

"Fontana has no control over the property or the operations therein. In fact, Fontana casino, junket and hotel operations have long been suspended. Fontana has zero operations at present," said FDC Assistant General Manager Simon Wu.

The statement was released days after police uncovered the "underground" hospital, said to be catering to Chinese patients who tested positive for COVID-19.

The Clark Development Corp. (CDC) last week said that the management of Fontana Leisure Park would be held liable for the operation.

Malacañang has since expressed its alarm over the issue, and the Bureau of Immigration said it would coordinate with other authorities to track down the individuals who sought treatment.

In a letter to the CDC, Wu said that the FDC had conducted an initial investigation on the matter and that the supposed makeshift hospital was being used to treat the employees of Shidaikeji.

"Upon our investigation regarding the issue, Shidaikeiji told us that their clinic was being used by them to attend to their employee's own needs," it read.

"According to Shidaikeiji, they are not operating as a COVID-19 clinic. As of today, there is no confirmed positive COVID-19 case, person under investigation (PUI) or person under monitoring (PUM) in Fontana," the letter added.

In the same letter, Wu noted that the two Chinese nationals arrested by the police in the raid had been released without the filing of any charges or cases.

Wu also released a letter sent by Shidaikeji, which also distanced Fontana from the operations being conducted in the villa.

"Fontana has absolutely no involvement or participation in our business or villa operations," said Shidaikeji representative Hu Ling.

"(B)ecause of the crisis, we have been forced to use our villa to respond to our employee's own needs. However, we are not operating a COVID-19 clinic on the villa," the letter stated.

Moving forward, FDC said it would continue to support government efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 through the use of its facilities.

"Fontana fully and wholeheartedly supports the Philippine Government in its battle against COVID-19 and in the implementation of any other government program... Fontana has voluntarily implemented COVID-19 preventive measures since January 2020," said Wu.

"Further, our Fontana Convention Center -- for which we invested billions of pesos -- is currently being used by the government as an isolation and quarantine facility for PUI. We have allowed the use of said structure as a COVID-19 quarantine facility at absolutely no cost to the government immediately upon learning of the urgent need therefore," he added. — DVM, GMA News