‘Poblacion girl’ faces raps over quarantine breach

Neil Jayson Servallos - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Makati Prosecutor’s Office has found probable cause to charge Gwyneth Anne Chua, also known as “Poblacion girl,” for breaching mandatory quarantine protocols last December.

In a resolution dated April 29 but released to media yesterday, the city prosecutor’s office said Chua was indicted for violating Republic Act 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act.

Esteban Gatbonton, a security guard of Berjaya Hotel where Chua stayed, was also charged as he reportedly helped Chua escape from the quarantine facility.

Chua made headlines last year for allegedly breaking COVID-19 protocols after arriving from the United States. She left her isolation hotel to meet with friends in Poblacion, Makati and later tested positive for the virus.

“Chua and Gatbonton defied the directives of the authorities on mandatory quarantine,” the resolution read.

The Makati prosecutor’s office said it did not find probable cause to charge other employees of the Berjaya Hotel since the evidence did not prove that “they knowingly allowed Chua to leave her isolation room.”

The complaint against Chua’s parents Allan Dabiwong Chua and Gemma Leonordo Chua and her boyfriend Rico Atienza was dismissed for lack of evidence.

The Philippine National Police had filed a complaint against them since Chua’s father picked her up from the hotel on Dec. 22, 2021, the same day she arrived from the US. Her mother brought her back to the hotel on Dec. 25.

She met her boyfriend and friends in Poblacion, Makati on Dec. 23 and tested positive for COVID-19 on Dec. 26.

Police said Chua infected at least a dozen people when she skipped quarantine protocols upon her return from the United States.

Authorities said the hotel management allowed Chua to enter and leave the facility freely.


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