Bato dela Rosa tests positive for COVID-19

Senator Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa announced on Saturday, November 21, that has tested positive for COVID-19.

"To all who made contact with me, please do the [appropriate] protocols," Dela Rosa said in a post on his personal Facebook page.

The senator said he tested positive the day before.

The senator's office said in a message to reporters that Dela Rosa "has cough and cold."

"His eldest daughter also tested positive but she’s asymptomatic," the office added.

Based on photos released by the Senate Public Relations and Information Bureau (PRIB), Dela Rosa was physically at the Senate on November 10 for budget deliberations, and later photos showed him attending sessions virtually.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III said in a message to reporters that Dela Rosa went to the Senate on Wednesday, November 17. Sotto said he tested negative in an antigen test he underwent on Friday, November 19.

"He was in the Senate last Wednesday but we did not have any close contact. But we had the swab anti-gen test last night. I'm negative," Sotto said in a mix of English and Filipino.

On Friday, the day he tested positive, Dela Rosa virtually participated in the Senate deliberations on the proposed 2021 budget.

On his personal Facebook page, Dela Rosa was seen vacationing in his hometown Davao in late October. He posted pictures of himself biking and bathing at a resort.

Dela Rosa is the fifth senator to contract the coronavirus, after Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, Koko Pimentel, Sonny Angara, and Bong Revilla. The first 3 were all infected in March, around the time senators were self-quarantining and the Senate building restricted its access after a guest tested positive. Revilla tested positive in August.

In August, the Senate went on lockdown again but proceeded to conduct hybrid hearings for the Bayanihan 2 bill. It also continued the probe into alleged corruption in the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation.

Dela Rosa drew flak in May for being unable to hide his delight at a virtual Senate hearing that ended in less than two hours. At the time, the confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country were nearing 15,000.

Dela Rosa is among the latest additions to the COVID-19 tally in the country, which numbered 415,067 cases as of Friday, November 20. This total includes 8,025 deaths and 375,237 recoveries. – Rappler.com

Michelle Abad

Michelle Abad is a researcher-writer at Rappler. Possessing the heart and soul of a feminist, she is working on specializing in women's issues in Newsbreak, Rappler's investigative arm.

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