House rep infected; he was in Malacañang last weekend
By DJ Yap
Philippine Daily Inquirer
2020-03-26 05:44:18
ACT-CIS Rep. Eric Yap

ACT-CIS Rep. Eric Yap (Photo from House of Representatives website)

MANILA, Philippines —The chair of the House appropriations committee who went to Malacañang for a top-level meeting over the weekend and attended Monday’s special session of Congress announced on Wednesday night that he had contracted the new coronavirus.ACT-CIS Rep. Eric Yap apologized to those he might have passed the coronavirus to, admitting he had acted as if it were “business as usual” in the 10 days since he had himself tested for the illness on March 15.

“I ask for the forgiveness and understanding from the people I interacted with. I was paranoid because I was feeling a slight cough, but I felt it was normal for me,” he said in Filipino.

He admitted he did not isolate himself despite experiencing a “slight cough,” a symptom of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

At the Malacañang meeting on Saturday, Yap discussed funding measures for COVID-19 with several Cabinet members, Senate and House leaders, including Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.

President Roodrigo Duterte did not attend that meeting.

In one photo of the Malacañang meeting, Yap is one seat away from Deputy Speaker Luis Raymund Villafuerte Jr. But in another photo, he is standing close to Villafuerte, who is next to Sen. Bong Go, the former longtime aide of Duterte who had subsequent interactions with him.

Yap was also one of the lawmakers who were physically present at the House on Monday to tackle the bill granting special powers to the President, including Cayetano, Villafuerte, Majority Leader Martin Romualdez and Minority Leader Bienvenido Abante Jr.

The rest of the House members participated via digital teleconferencing apps.

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