MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) on Tuesday said it will file charges against the parents of a Filipina traveler who broke the mandatory quarantine protocol during the holidays.
The PNP-CIDG said 6 others, including the personnel of a Makati hotel that served as her quarantine facility, will also be charged over the breach of protocols.
The charges will be lodged against Gwyneth Chua and her parents, and other individuals in violation of Rule 11 Section 1 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern.
Authorities believed that Chua, who was dubbed as ‘Poblacion girl’, infected about 15 people after skipping isolation during the holidays.
In a statement, the CIDG said that Chua was transported to the quarantine facility, the Berjaya Hotel in Makati, after arriving from the United States on December 22.
She checked in at the hotel around 11:23 p.m. At 11:40 p.m. of the same day, Chua was fetched from the same hotel by her father in an SUV.
The CIDG said that on the night of December 23, Chua was confirmed to have visited a Makati restaurant according to CCTV footage and witness accounts.
On December 25, 2021, at 9:00 PM, Ms. Chua returned to the hotel assisted by her mother, it added.
“CIDG’S investigators concluded that Ms. Chua, being a returning Filipino overseas is obliged to follow the health protocol being imposed by IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) and DOH (Department of Health),” it said.
Chua’s “action of leaving the quarantine facility and disregarding the quarantine procedure violated Rule XI Section 1 (g) (iii), (iv) of the IRR of R.A. 11332 (Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act), it added.
As for the individuals whom Chua met with on the night of December 23 and were allegedly infected with the virus, the CIDG said it “did not find sufficient evidence to charge them with any offense.”
“However, CIDG recommends and encourages the said individuals to file a complaint before CIDG for further referral to the prosecutor’s office,” their statement read.
The Palace on Monday said the government will impose penalties against quarantine violators to the “fullest extent of the law,” following Chua’s protocol breach to attend a party.
Chua is currently staying in an isolation facility in Metro Manila after her swab test came out positive last December 26.
Aside from Chua, authorities are also looking into another case of a Filipina who allegedly skipped mandatory quarantine protocols for inbound travelers.
The Philippine National Police also assured it will conduct random inspections in hotels to ensure compliance with quarantine protocols. The move is in light of reports that some hotels are offering an “absentee-quarantine” scheme to returning overseas Filipinos.