Go to DOJ, NBI: Look at possible syndicate behind quarantine breach
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Bong Go, chairman of the Senate health panel, on Friday called on the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to look at a “possible syndicate” behind travelers who skip quarantine “by paying certain sums of money.”
“As Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, I demand that a thorough and immediate investigation be conducted on the matter,” Go said in a statement, while lauding the Department of Tourism and other agencies for their “prompt action” on a recent incident of quarantine breach.
“I appeal to DOJ and NBI to look at possible syndicate operating where people required to undergo the mandatory quarantine are able to skip it by paying certain sums of money. Kaya dapat tingnan din kung meron bang modus operandi, mula sa mga paliparan hanggang sa mga quarantine facilities [That’s why we need to look if their are similar modus operandi, from the airport up to the quarantine facilities],” he added.
“Kasuhan kung kinakailangan at parusahan na naaayon sa ating batas [File cases if need be and punish those responsible in accordance with our laws. We should also,” Go added.
Earlier, DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said a Filipina who returned from the United States skipped being quarantined in a hotel, claiming to have “connections.” She, and her companions at a party she attended in Makati City, later tested positive for the coronavirus.
In a separate statement, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri said skipping quarantine protocols is “irresponsible, illegal and unforgivable.”
“Dozens are now sick, and some even hospitalized, possibly with the Omicron [variant],” he said, seeking penalties against those responsible.
“This blatant disregard for health protocols should not be tolerated and should be punished, regardless of who they may be,” he added.
Zubiri then stressed the need for vigilance amid the COVID-19 Omicron variant.
“…I’m worried that the highly transmissible Omicron variant has gotten into our communities due to these stupid and irresponsible individuals, and the facilities that are failing to uphold quarantine protocols,” the senator said.
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