Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III drew flak on social media Wednesday after admitting he accompanied his wife to the hospital despite being a person under investigation (PUI).
Pimentel said he took a swab test on Friday and only received the results on Tuesday, the same time he was in the hospital with Kathryna, who is due to give birth. He eventually tested positive.
In an interview on GMA News' 24 Oras, Pimentel said he considered accompanying his pregnant wife to the hospital "essential movement".
"Una sa lahat, yung home quarantine ko is the general quarantine nating lahat. Kung non-essential movement, huwag na tayong gagalaw. E wala naman akong positive test noon at manganganak ang misis ko," Pientel said.
"Sino ang sasama sa manganganak na misis kundi si mister?" he added.
In an earlier radio interview, Pimentel asked for understanding adding that he was not coughing or spreading droplets while at the hospital.
“Una sa lahat, hindi naman ako umuubo so hindi ako nakakalat ng droplets. Wala ako ubo so ‘wag masyado matakot,” Pimentel said in a radio interview.
“Understand ko ‘yong natatakot pero ‘wag masyadong mag-discriminate kasi ngayon ko nararamdaman ‘yong discrimination actually,” he added.
Pimentel called on the public to understand his situation because he was just excited to be a father.
"Humihingi na lang po siguro ako ng understanding. Siyempre kahit sino namang tao, ama ay magiging excited. Hindi ko naman po alam," Pimentel said.
He said he immediately left the hospital upon knowledge he tested positive.
"Nag-disinfect naman ang ospital so tama naman po 'yong ginawa nila," Pimentel said. "Umalis agad ako sa ospital, that is my duty."
Pimentel said he was under self-quarantine and wasfeeling better.
He had fever on March 18 and experienced slight sore throat, body pain and diarrhea, Pimentel said in a statement.
Pimentel is the second senator to test positive for the virus after Senate Majority Floor Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country reached 636 with 38 deaths and 26 recoveries.
Meanwhile, 704 people have tested negative for the virus.
The Department of Health has so far conducted a total of 1,793 COVID-tests. -NB, GMA News