Antequera Councilor Lani Labado denied that they were ever inside the same van with the Negros Oriental town councilor who died after falling ill due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), contrary to a post over social media alleging that seven legislators from the Bohol municipality have been ordered to undergo home quarantine as persons under investigation due to close contact with the late legislator.
Labado was among councilors from Bohol who were present during the Philippine Councilors’ League (PCL) convention in Manila late in February which was also attended by “Patient 39,” a 65-year-old councilor of Tayasan town in Negros Oriental who succumbed to the disease last Sunday.
Facebook page The Bohol Monitor in a post over the social media site said that seven councilors from Antequera were inside the same van as the Tayasan solon. The post which was shared over 1,000 times as of Tuesday morning claimed that the information came from an “insider.”
“Seven (7) Antequera, Bohol Councilors who rode the same van with Negros Oriental Councilor who died from COVID19 are currently confined inside their houses ‘self-quarantine’ considered as PUI with no guarantee to be a threat to their family members and others as we all know, there is no way they can be isolated in Filipino family setting of living. This is CODE RED ZONE for the rest of Bohol. Let alone the rest of 480 councilors in the same set of home base quarantine. We are asking for tremendous amount of contagion to blow out of proportion. — forwarded/posted from a source/insider,” The Bohol Monitor said.
According to Labado who was interviewed over station dyRD’s top-rated “Inyong Alagad” program, the councilors from Antequera did not avail of the van provided by the PCL as they had their own van which they booked through First District Rep. Edgar Chatto.
“Naay daghang mga van na mo tagbo sa mga konsehal sa tibuok Pilipinas usa mo abot sa airport. Pero kami sa lungsod sa Antequera wala hing sakay sa van na gi provide sa PCL national tungod kay naa miy van na nacontact pinaagi ni Congressman Edgar Chatto,” she said.
From the airport in Pasay City, the Antequera group proceeded to a livelihood center of Senator Cynthia Villar. Labado said that another group on board a separate van joined them in the tour but they were from Eastern Samar, not from Negros Oriental.
Labado noted that they were billeted at the Golden Phoenix Hotel while the Negros Oriental councilor stayed at the Diamond Hotel.
“Didto mi nagpadrop sa Golden Phoenix which is ang among hotel assignment. Adtong us aka adlaw akong nasayran na namatay tong konsehal na taga Negros so nangutana ko sa usa ka kauban namo na konsehal og dis-a siya nabutang na hotel akong nasayran na didto siya sa Diamond Hotel which is layo-layo sa Golden Phoenix,” she said.
According to Labado, she was able to confirm that they were transported out from the hotel to the airport by a van which was not used by other PCL delegations.
The municipal solon also clarified that there were eight councilors from Antequera who attended the PCL assembly, not seven as claimed by The Bohol Monitor.
Labado, sounding irate, said that she wants to know who the administrator of The Bohol Monitor page is, as she cried foul over the unverified report which caused panic in the town and among those close to the councilors involved.
“Dili unta magpataka og storya siya didto na wala siya’y gipangutana namo,” she said. “Bisan pag pamolitika na iyang gibuhat dili g’yud na angay buhaton.”
The councilors’ friends and relatives out of worry have been calling and texting to check up on them after the unverified information was spread over social media, she added.
Although they were never in direct contact with the Patient 39, the Antequera councilors went into self-quarantine starting Monday as ordered by Governor Arthur Yap due to their recent travel to Manila and proximity to a confirmed carrier of the disease during the convention.
The Bohol Monitor, in its profile, says that the page is “monitoring the events that shape Bohol and beyond Bohol and around the world.”
On the transparency section of the page, it is indicated that it was once the Facebook page of The Bohol Tribune but it was changed to The Bohol Monitor on August 12, 2018.
It has been apparent that the page is no longer run by the Bohol-based newspaper which now has a new Facebook page.