MANILA, Philippines – Two of the 6 jeepney drivers earlier jailed for protesting during community quarantine tested positive for the coronavirus, Caloocan Representative Egay Erice said.
The group’s counsel, Henrie Enaje, likewise confirmed this in a message to Rappler on Sunday, June 21.
Enaje did not disclose the identity of the two jeepney drivers who were positive for the virus, though he said 72-year-old Elmer Cordero was negative for the disease.
“Yes po confirmed yung 2. Naka isolate na sa quarantine facilities ngayon,” Enaje told Rappler. (Yes, the 2 are confirmed. They are isolated in quarantine facilities now.)
Enaje said the remaining 4 drivers are also quarantined in Balai Orbero in Project 3, Quezon City. They are being monitored by a labor group Piston’s medical team.
Piston Secretary General Steve Ranjo told Rappler all the 6 drivers were asymptomatic or did not show any symptoms. They had undergone a polymerase chain reacton test for the disease last June 11.
Ranjo said the 4 drivers who tested negative for the coronavirus will again be tested in the coming week. If their results were negative, he added, the 4 drivers will end their quarantine.
Along with Cordero, Severino Ramos, Arsenio Ymas, Wilson Ramilla, Ramon Paloma, and Ruben Balyon – were arrested by the Northern Police District on June 2 for failing to practice physical distancing during a protest and supposedly resisting authorities. All drivers had been detained for at least 6 days, except for Cordero and Ramilla.
Cordero and Ramilla had other charges filed under their names and walked free on June 9 after posting bail.
The 6 Piston drivers were arrested when they held a protest against the government policy on traditional jeepneys. Traditional jeepneys are at the bottom of the “hierarchy” of modes of transport and can only ply the roads if there are not enough buses or modern jeepneys. – Sofia Tomacruz/Rappler.com