'Poblacion girl' Gwyneth Chua, hotel guard indicted over quarantine breach

'Poblacion girl' Gwyneth Chua, hotel guard indicted over quarantine breach
This May 13, 2020 photo shows the Makati skyline
The STAR / Miguel De Guzman, file

MANILA, Philippines — The Makati city prosecutor has indicted a woman who violated quarantine protocols upon arrival in the Philippines by going to a party while she was supposed to be in quarantine.

“In a Resolution dated April 29, 2022, the Makati City Prosecution Office found probable cause to charge Gwyneth Anne Chua with violation of Section 9 of the [Republic Act] 11332 for defying the directives of the authorities on mandatory quarantine,” the Office of the City Prosecutor of Makati said in a statement on Thursday.

RA 11332 is the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act. Section 9 listed five prohibited acts including non-cooperation of the person or entities identified as having the notifiable disease, or affected by the health event of public concern” — although it is unclear which specific charge Chua will be facing.

The prosecutor’s office added that prosecutors also indicted a security guard of the hotel “for assisting the escape of Gwyneth from the quarantine facility.”

A full copy of the resolution has yet to be made public as of this writing.

RELATED: DOT suspends accreditation, fines hotel in ‘Poblacion girl’ quarantine breach

The case stemmed from complaint filed by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group that a woman who arrived from the United States in December skipped quarantine to party in Poblacion, a party and red-light district in Makati on December 23. She later tested positive for COVID-19.

The PNP-CIDG also filed complaints against her parents who fetched her from the hotel, and her boyfriend who was seen partying with her in Poblacion.

Authorities also investigated Berjaya Makati Hotel, the facility where Chua stayed. She claimed she got out of the quarantine hotel because of her “connections.”

But the prosecution dismissed the complaints against other employees of the hotel as it “did not find probable cause as the evidence failed to show that they knowingly allowed Gwyneth to leave the hotel premises.”

Raps filed against Gwyneth’s parents and boyfriend were also dropped due to insufficient evidence. — Kristine Joy Patag

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