‘If we tested negative, we get bashed; if positive, we still get bashed’
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Wednesday night appealed for the understanding of everyone on the issue of certain politicians who had themselves tested for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“Well, ngayon siguro, di ba may 100,000 additional test kits tayo, pero tignan niyo din naman kami. Pagka-negative kami, edi na-bash; pagka-positive kami, binabash pa rin,” Pimentel, who tested for the viral disease himself, said in an interview over GMA Network’s “24 Oras.”
(Well, now, we have 100,000 additional test kits, but look at us. If we tested negative, we get bashed. If we tested positive, we still get bashed.)
On the issue of “VIP testing” for some politicians, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III confirmed that some made direct requests to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) to be tested COVID-19.
However, he added that they met prior Department of Health protocols on who should be tested.
The senator then cited himself as an example, as he earlier disclosed he tested positive for COVID-19.
“So yung example ko siguro shows that kailangan din po magpa-test ng mga senador natin kasi yung iba sa kanila, nagkakasakit na din talaga,” he defended.
(So the example of me shows that senators, too, need testing because some of them get sick too.)
Pimentel disclosed that he got the results while accompanying his wife at the Makati Medical Center (MMC), as she was scheduled to give birth to their daughter.
The MMC administration also denounced the senator’s actions, calling it “reckless” and “irresponsible.”
He is the second senator to be COVID-19 positive, after Senate Majority Floor leader Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.