Partido Reporma chairman and standard-bearer Panfilo ‘Ping’ Lacson said the patronage culture enjoyed by some privileged members of society must stop as he welcomed the recent filing of charges against quarantine violator Gwyneth Chua, also known as ‘Poblacion Girl.’
Law enforcement authorities upon investigation found probable cause to indict Chua for defying Republic Act No. 11332 or the “Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act,” which Lacson considered a ‘positive step.’
“Poblacion girl: while the filing of charges for violation of RA 11332 is one positive step, there is a second step that is equally important—make her 'connections' liable,” Lacson said over his personal Twitter account on Wednesday.
“NAGPABAYA O NAGPABAYAD (whether they became negligent or accepted a bribe) does not make much difference. The PALAKASAN (patronage) system must stop," the presidential aspirant added in his tweet.
The Philippine National Police's Criminal Investigation and Detection Group earlier filed charges against Chua, her parents and six other staff of the Berjaya Makati Hotel over the breach of mandatory quarantine protocols, citing one of the implementing rules and regulations of RA 11332.
Chua managed to sneak out of her hotel room, where she was in quarantine after arriving from the United States last December 22, and attended a party in Poblacion, Makati. She, fellow partygoers and some employees of the bar reportedly tested positive for COVID-19.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat had cited information indicating Chua bragged about her "connections" that allowed her to leave the hotel. The Department of Tourism has since suspended the Berjaya Makati Hotel following the incident.