Last March 17, Senator Francis Tolentino, together with other senatorial officials, were tested by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).
Tolentino proudly posted that he tested negative despite not falling under the testing guidelines mandated by the Department of Health.
As of this writing, the Facebook post was taken down most likely because netizens scored the senator for using his powers to take a test that he was not qualified for according to protocols, especially since test kits remain scarce.
I saw a post of Sen. Tolentino stating he's negative with NCOV-19 and it looks they used a rapid test kit meron naman palang RTK bakit hindi ipadala sa mga provinces? #MassTestingNowPH pic.twitter.com/kqSY4Mg29X
— Arvin Pascual (@binbinpascual) March 22, 2020
— Ice E 🇵🇭 (@sleepy_nezumi) March 22, 2020
In his post, Tolentino thanked god for his negative result. He should have thanked the Filipino tax payer that paid for his test, and the Filipino COVID patients who were made to wait.
— Merkado Barkada (@MerkadoBarkada) March 22, 2020
According to the guidelines laid down by the DOH, only PUIs (Persons Under Investigation) under severe to critical conditions must be tested for COVID-19.
Asymptomatic patients, on the other hand, are considered to be PUMs (Persons Under Monitoring) who do not need to be tested.
People with a history of exposure should only undergo a 14-day home quarantine. PUMs will be tested if symptoms begin to manifest and are considered to be high-risk due to other underlying diseases and old age.
Tolentino apologized in the face of the backlash he had received for taking the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) when he didn’t need to.
“I apologize if I undertook the same as I was likewise exposed to the persons my colleagues got in contact with during our hearings.”
In his post, the senator revealed that he had manifested dry cough and colds during his self-quarantine.
“Further, my colds and dry cough had persisted during my self-quarantine period, thus I took the test after my self cough medication appeared insufficient after four days.”