Surigao del Sur Rep Pimentel recovers from coronavirus

House Deputy Speaker and Surigao del Sur 2nd District Representative Johnny Pimentel has recovered from the coronavirus.

Pimentel confirmed to Rappler on Monday, September 14, that he received his negative swab test results last August 27 and has since returned to work.

“It’s good to be back,” said Pimentel, who presided over the plenary session on Monday at the Batasang Pambansa.

He had also been present at the plenary hall during the first day of the 2021 budget hearings in the House last September 4. 

Pimentel was supposed to physically attend President Rodrigo Duterte's 5th State of the Nation Address on July 27, but the House leader tested positive for COVID-19 the day before.

Pimentel is now the second House member to publicly announce his recovery from COVID-19. On August 12, Deputy Speaker and Basilan Representative Mujiv Hataman said in a Facebook post that he and his wife, Isabela City Mayor Sitti Djalia Turabin Hataman, have both recovered.

Apart from Pimentel and Hataman, 6 other House members have been infected with COVID-19.


The disease, however, claimed the life of 71-year-old Senior Citizens Representative Francisco Datol Jr, the first Filipino lawmaker to die of COVID-19.

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. 

As of Monday, September 14, the House has a running tally of 74 COVID-19 cases, of which 14 remain active. 

In the entire Philippines, the Department of Health has recorded over 265,000 cases with 4,630 deaths and 207,504 recoveries. –

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 or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.