(March 26, 2020) – A congressman from a province just north of the Philippine capital has contracted the deadly coronavirus, adding to a growing list of government officials testing positive for COVID-19.
Rep. Henry Villarica of Bulacan’s fourth district is the second member of the lower chamber of Congress to be infected with the virus after ACT-CIST Partylist Rep. Eric Yap, House Secretary General Jose Montales said Thursday night.
Villarica was said to have last reported for work on the first week of March and was hospitalized for pneumonia on March 12. He was said to have had contact with Mayor Ferdie Estrella of Baliuag in Bulacan, who later tested positive for the virus.
Villarica’s wife, a mayor of the city of Meycauayan in the same province, has placed herself under quarantine despite not showing any symptoms of the disease.
Governor Rebecca “‘Nini” Ynares of Rizal, an adjacent province, also has the coronavirus, according to her son Casimiro Ynares III.
As of Thursday, the coronavirus has infected 707 people in the country, with 45 dead and 28 recoveries.
Senator Sonny Angara also confirmed today that he had been infected with the virus, bringing to three the number of cases in the upper chamber, after Senators Migz Zubiri and Koko Pimentel.
Rep. Yap’s announcement that he has contracted COVID-19 had sent a number of congressional leaders and lawmakers into self-quarantine.
On Monday, Yap had attended the special session of the House to grant emergency powers to President Rodrigo Duterte, as well as a meeting with some members of the president’s Cabinet over the weekend. (Christian de Lano Deiparine/JMF)
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