Rep. Eric Go Yap (left) is photographed with Rep. LRay Villafuerte of Camarines Sur, Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go and House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano in Malacañang on March 21. (Photo from Rep. Eric Go Yap’s Facebook page)

UPDATE: Presidential Security Group Commander Jesus Durante III is considering filing a case against Rep. Eric Go Yap for going to Malacañang on March 21, 2020, despite being a person under investigation (PUI) for Covid-19 at that time.


On March 15, 2020, Rep. Eric Go Yap of ACT-CIS, the party-list backed by the Tulfo brothers, became among the first, few elected officials to get tested for Covid-19, ahead of symptomatic patients and health care frontliners.

Yet Yap, chairman of the House appropriations committee, went to an all-important meeting in Malacañan Palace six days later on March 21, and met other lawmakers and top Cabinet officials. “Hindi tayo magpapatinag sa coronavirus! (We won’t be cowered by the coronavirus!)” he posted on Facebook.

He also attended the special session of Congress on March 23, and was among those who posed for photographs holding the poster “Together with doctors and frontliners, we went to work for you so please stay home for us.”

On March 24, Yap’s test came back positive. Now everyone he had met, including Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, would have to go under quarantine.

Yap apologized on March 25 and told reporters: “It is with a heavy heart that I share to all of you that I tested positive for coronavirus.”

On the same day he got tested for the virus, the Facebook page of the Benguet congressional district, which Yap holds as caretaker, posted an infographic bearing Yap’s image and telling constituents to “help each other and unite in becoming responsible to win this fight.”

“Unite in becoming responsible to win this fight,” Rep. Eric Go Yap tells his constituents. (Benguet Congressional District Facebook page)

Rep. Eric Go Yap is shown meeting congressional leaders and Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III (right). (Rep. Eric Go Yap Facebook page)

Yap did not explain why he did not go on strict home quarantine after submitting to a Covid-19 test, only saying that he was called to the Palace for a meeting to come up with legislation needed by the government to stem the outbreak.

“After my testing, March 21, ipinatawag pa ako para sa isang pagpupulong sa Malacañang upang talakayin ang mga hakbang para sugpuin itong krisis na ito,” he said.

“After that, it was business as usual for me, but I was careful as always,” he added.

“Humihingi ako ng patawad at pag-unawa mula sa mga taong nakasalamuha ko.” (I ask forgiveness and understanding from people I have met.)

Yap’s apology came on the same day Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, who has also tested positive for the virus and was supposed to be on quarantine, drew widespread condemnation for breaking protocols at Makati Medical Center when he brought his pregnant wife to the hospital for a scheduled C-section. It did not push through after the hospital found out.

Senator Go, the president’s top aide, and Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo promptly issued statements on Representative Yap’s health condition.

Rep. Eric Go Yap meets Cabinet officials and other members of the House of Representatives on March 21. (Rep. Eric Go Yap Facebook page)

Panelo said he was sorry to hear about Yap’s test result and urged everyone in contact with the lawmaker to undergo the 14 day self-quarantine protocol “for their protection.”

Go said he had no choice but to go on quarantine.

“It is unfortunate that Cong. Eric Yap has tested positive for Covid-19. We are currently initiating contact tracing, particularly those present during a meeting I attended last Saturday,” he said.

“Puro po ako trabaho noong nakaraang mga araw. Wala naman po akong nararamdamang sintomas ng sakit. (It’s been all work the past few days. I haven’t felt any symptoms of the disease.) But since protocol requires that those who were directly exposed to persons positive for Covid-19 need to undergo self-quarantine, I am left with no choice but to comply,” Go said. (