Gabriela congresswoman Arlene Brosas tests positive for coronavirus

Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Arlene Brosas has tested positive for COVID-19, making her the 10th House member infected with the coronavirus disease.

House Secretary General Luis Montales first announced the results of Brosas' COVID-19 test results in a statement on Wednesday, September 16. The congresswoman herself later confirmed this in a Viber message to reporters.

Brosas said she "probably" got infected on September 2, when she went to the Batasang Pambansa as it was the "only place where I've been to with known active cases."

"I have experienced mild symptoms in the past few days and got myself tested immediately. I also immediately went under quarantine. As soon as the result came out today, I immediately informed the House of Representatives and all close contacts," the lawmaker said.

Brosas said she was no longer experiencing symptoms and promised to continue participating in House deliberations on the proposed P4.5-trillion budget for 2021.

"Currently, I am no longer experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms. Moreover, I vow to participate in the budget deliberations via Zoom and will continue to push for higher budget for health and other social services," she said.

Brosas is a staunch opposition figure in the House and is among the 6 progressive lawmakers comprising the Makabayan bloc.

Just a day before her COVID-19 test results were announced, Brosas voted against the passage of the bill creating a special economic zone in Bulacan, arguing it would exploit Filipino laborers and displace farmers.

The House now has a running tally of 75 COVID-19 cases, of which 15 are active. 

Of the total 75 cases, 10 are legislators. Deputy Speakers Mujiv Hataman and Johnny Pimentel have already announced their recovery from the disease.

COVID-19, however, claimed the life of Senior Citizens Representative Francisco Datol Jr, the first Filipino legislator to die of the disease. 

Sorsogon 2nd District Representative Maria Bernardita "Ditas" Ramos also passed away on September 8, two days after the House announced she tested positive for COVID-19. The lower chamber, however, did not disclose her official cause of death.  – Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.

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