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Complaint ready vs. COVID-positive ROF who attended Makati party —BOQ

A complaint is "ready" against the returning overseas Filipino (ROF) from the United States who skipped quarantine to attend a party in Makati City, a Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) official said Friday.

Authorities have confirmed that other party attendees also tested positive for COVID-19 after the ROF was able to skip the five-day mandatory quarantine due to "connections.”

“May nakasuhan na po tayo at ito pong particular na case na recently nangyari, naka-ready na po ‘yung complaint natin,” BOQ Director III Roberto Salvador Jr. said in a media briefing.

(We had filed charges against violators before, and regarding this recent incident, our complaint is ready.)

Salvador expressed hope this will be a lesson to others on why protocols should not be violated.

“Para po kami po ang complainant, BOQ, DOH (Department of Health), para po maging example. Hindi po dapat i-violate ‘yung quarantine laws dahil malaki ang epekto nito sa community,” he said.

(We, the BOQ and the DOH, are the complainants here and this will be an example. Quarantine rules should not be violated because it affects the community immensely.)

For his part, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III vowed that violators of quarantine protocols would be held accountable.

“Anybody who will be found guilty of breaching and violating these laws rules and regulation will be made to account to the full extent of the law. They can be charged, indicted for criminal as well as administrative cases,” he said.

“So warning lang po, ayaw na po natin gawin ito pero period of public health emergency po ang buong Pilipinas ay hindi po puwedeng baliwalain natin o etsapwera natin ang mga batas natin,” Duque added.

(I'm warning the public. We don’t want to do this but we are in a period of public health emergency and we cannot disregard our laws.)

Meanwhile, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said there could have been a major violation committed if the reports are correct on the part of the person concerned, as well as the individuals who helped the individual commit the violation.

“The applicability of RA (Republic Act) 11332 to violations of this sort has not been tested judicially, so this may be an opportune time to try it,” Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said in a message to reporters. —KBK, GMA News