Villar third senator to catch COVID-19

Cecille Suerte Felipe - The Philippine Star
Villar third senator to catch COVID-19
Sen. Cynthia Villar faces reporters in a press conference on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022.
The STAR / Geremy Pintolo

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Cynthia Villar became the third senator to get infected with COVID-19 in a span of days, prompting her – as did her two similarly afflicted colleagues – to settle for online participation at yesterday’s session.

Aside from Villar, Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Imee Marcos were also attending session online since testing positive for the virus.

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri urged members of the chamber to pray for the recovery of their colleagues.

“Twenty senators physically present and three senators virtually present or a total of 23 members present, the chair hereby declares the presence of a quorum. We just like to put on record that our distinguished colleague, Senator Cynthia Villar, tested positive today for COVID-19. We would like to wish her well and our prayers for her speedy recovery,” Zubiri said at the beginning of the session.

“And for all our members also to be extra careful in this time where COVID is still surging,” he added.

“She’s online and answers the call of a quorum, the roll call earlier,” he said, referring to Villar.

The chamber has been implementing strict health protocols since Marcos and Cayetano tested positive for COVID-19. Marcos tested positive on Monday and Cayetano, last week.

The latter said he is OK and ready to report in person next week.

Starting yesterday, the Senate began requiring guests and visitors to present a negative antigen test result taken within 24 hours.

Zubiri ordered Senate Secretary Rey Bantug to oversee the implementation of health protocols.

Sen. Pia Cayetano said that considering the rising number of infections among colleagues and staff, the Senate medical team should conduct thorough briefing on the strict observance of health protocols.


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