OFW from HK clears name, says she did not try to evade PH mandatory quarantine

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Screenshot from PNP video on checkpoints

A Filipina who is set to resume her work in Hong Kong denied that she and another overseas Filipino worker tried to escape or dodge mandatory quarantine in the Philippines, one of the measures set in place to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus.

Rufina Cabaron, a domestic worker from Isabela, refuted local news reports that she tried to evade a 14-day mandatory quarantine imposed by the Philippine government for returning Filipinos from Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered a travel ban to mainland China and its special administrative regions Hong Kong and Macau following the death of a Chinese national infected with CODIV-19 on Feb.2. Outgoing OFWs, permanent resident visa holders and students were eventually exempted from the said ban.

But all incoming Filipinos from the said territories will still have to undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantine. Cabaron, in her case, had to go home while waiting for hew new work visa as mandated by Hong Kong’s laws.

“Maling-mali yang binalita nila,” she told Hong Kong News on March 30.  “Hindi man lang kami kinuhanan ng panig, porke galing ng Hong Kong ganyan na sila.

“Handa naman kami mag-home quarantine, nasunod po kami sa protocol.”

Cabaron was reported to have been caught at a checkpoint along with a fellow OFW on March 25 by local police, who went there supposedly upon the order of a barangay captain from Cauayan.

The captain purportedly accused them of fleeing from the Philippine General Hospital. Cabaron just arrived from Hong Kong however and actually came from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

“Nag-flight ako March25 ng 3:30 am at lumapag kami ng 5:35 am ng March 25,” she recounted.

“Nakauwi ako dito sa bahay namin 6:53 ng gabi, March 25 din.”

She said she showed all the documents she has that will prove she just came from the airport – her plane ticket, her quarantine certificate provided at the airport and her passport.

The police eventually believed them and escorted them until they reached their respective homes. Cabaron was surprised, however to see that there were reports of them the following day accusing them of evading quarantine.

Hong Kong news reached out to the one who reported about the said incident, Bombo Radyo’s Franzel Bonilla. She said the report was based on the blotter of the Philippine National Police and that the police chief of Laoag also made a clarification about the matter.

“This is only a clarification from the initial information that there was a Covid positive patient escaped from Manila and came here in Ilocos. We have also interviewed the PNP Chief of Laoag who clarified this information,” she said on March 31.