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Panelo says health protocols followed in viral singing video

/ 06:13 PM December 18, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo on Friday said health protocols against COVID-19 were followed when he was recently seen singing in a restaurant.

Panelo was criticized online for supposedly violating government-imposed health protocols against coronavirus infections after a video of him singing in a restaurant in Makati City made its round on social media.

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But President Duterte’s legal counsel defended his singing session, saying that physical distancing was followed at the establishment and that he was wearing a face shield while singing.

“Wrong. There is a social distancing of one meter. And I’m wearing a face shield. Also, I was requested to sing by the guests coursed thru the owner, and the guests came to my table and thanked me. Fake news iyan,” Panelo told INQUIRER.net in a text message.

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“Moreover, all the guests, except one or two eating, were wearing their face masks, and there was also one-meter distance between the guests even more with respect to the distance between tables,” he added.

He went on: “So there was no risk of (coronavirus) transmission plus I just had a negative swab test result the day before because we had a Cabinet meeting.”

Netizens pointed out that Panelo was violating the government’s order against the use of karaoke this holiday season.

This was not the first time a Malacañang official was slammed for “merrymaking” amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last month, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque was heavily criticized for singing in a Baguio City restaurant as massive floods hit Cagayan and nearby provinces.

Roque defended his actions, saying that it was only meant to unload after a hectic week. [ac]

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TAGS: COVID-19, karaoke ban, pandemic, Philippines, Salvador Panelo
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