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Prez Duterte tests negative for COVID-19 in last swab, says Senator Go

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte skims through a document as he presides over a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members at the Malacañang Golf (Malago) Clubhouse in Malacañang Park, Manila on March 29, 2021. KING RODRIGUEZ/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte tested negative for coronavirus disease during the Holy Week, his longtime aide said Thursday.

“Regular naman pong nagpapa-swab test si Pangulong Duterte at, so far naman po, sa awa ng Diyos, ay negatibo naman po kung pagbabasehan po ‘yung last niya pong swab test.Wala po kayong dapat ikabahala pero we cannot take chances,” Senator Christopher ‘Bong’ Go said in a statement.

His latest swab test results were done during Holy Week, according to Go, after at least 126 members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) caught the viral disease.

“Ika nga, hindi natin pwedeng isugal, bagama’t alam n’yo po na si Pangulo talagang gustong lumabas,” Go added.

On Wednesday night, the senator also shared a “proof of life” photo of the President seated across each other at a table, with a copy of a newspaper dated April 7 at one corner.

“Sa mga may masasamang Hangarin, Wag muna kayo mag celebrate!! Nandito lang si Tatay Digong. Tambak ang trabaho,” he said in his Facebook post.

“Suot ko damit kong dilaw pero DU30 yan!!! Sana tulungan na lang natin ang ating mahal na Pangulo para malagpasan natin ang crisis na ito bilang nagkaka-isang mamamayang Pilipino,” he added.

Speculations on Duterte’s whereabout rose on Wednesday after Malacanang announced the cancelation of his weekly ‘Talk to the People.’

Duterte last delivered his speech on March 29, a day after his controversial 76th birthday celebration in his hometown, Davao City.

READ: No speech from Prez Duterte this week, says Palace

In a statement, PSG Commander Jesus Durante III said the presidential security team has tallied 126 COVID-19 cases, of which 45 were active cases.

Durante added that the PSG personnel who contracted the viral disease were those “manning our gates” and are “exposed daily to the local populace.”

“At the least, our PSG personnel who got infected are not directly or closely detailed with the President and are all asymptomatic without experiencing any adverse symptom. Hence, rest assured that the President is safe and in good health,” he said.

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