Pimentel appeals for understanding, says he felt discriminated against
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel on Wednesday admitted to feeling discriminated against after testing positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
In a radio interview, Pimentel appealed of Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel on Wednesday said that while he tested positive of the disease, he did not intentionally spread the dreaded virus around.
“’Wag lang masyadong mag-discriminate kasi ngayon ko nararamdanan ‘yung discrimination, actually (Do not discriminate because I feel the discrimination right now actually). Una sa lahat, hindi naman po ako umuubo so hindi ako nagkakalat ng mga droplets. Wala po akong ubo so wag masyado matakot pero understand ko ‘yung natatakot (First of all, I did not cough so I did not spread droplets to infect. I do not have cough so do not be too afraid but I understand those who are afraid),” Pimentel said.
Earlier, Pimentel told Senate reporters in a Viber message that he had experienced a fever of around 38 degrees Celsius last March 18, as well as a minor cough and slight sore throat.
Pimentel made the rounds of media interview to explain his side after he came out with his statement confirming his COVID-19 status.
Immediately after that, however, social media were rife with items involving a supposed exchange among physicians of a private hospital where Pimentel supposedly brought his pregnant wife to deliver their baby between 6 to 7pm Tuesday.
According to the supposed conversation of doctors, the senator allegedly did not inform the hospital staff of his health status when he brought his pregnant wife, and even joined his wife inside the delivery room. He was also said to have been seen walking around the hospital without wearing a face mask, thereby exposing hospital workers to the dreaded virus.
In defending himself, Pimentel said at about 9pm of the same night, he received a call from the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM) informing him of the positive result of his COVID-19 test.
He said that he immediately returned home after receiving the news.
The senator appealed to the public to be more understanding of those who tested positive for the virus.
“’Wag naman sana na gugutumin sila na bawal na silang mabuhay o kumilos, so understanding lang ang hinihingi ko sa lahat at sana gumaling na tayong lahat (Let us not starve them, like they do not have the right to live or move. I only ask for a little understanding, I hope all of us could finally recover) … hindi po namin kagustuhan ito (We did not want this),” Pimentel said.
Pimentel is the second Philippine senator to test positive from COVID-19, after Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri.
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