In his briefing today, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said President Rodrigo Duterte is in ‘perpetual isolation,’ undergoes regular RT-PCR testing, following Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Sec and National Task Force COVID-19 vice chairperson Eduardo Año once again testing positive for COVID-19 on August 15.

Roque said Duterte had an August 10 meeting with the DILG Secretary. Año announced his positive test results a day later and said he started experiencing flu-like symptoms on August 14. 

To assure the president is protected, Roque said, “The president is in perpetual isolation because no one can come close to him. Whenever we meet with him, there’s a velvet rope that keeps him at least six feet away from everyone else. No one can really come close to the president.”

Journalists are among those who questioned Roque’s “perpetual isolation” statement.


Many found the statement ‘vague’ and some were alarmed by what it could mean.


Roque held the briefing from his home, as he went on self-quarantine following his exposure to Año.

Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) would meet with Duterte virtually tonight. There had been allegations that Duterte went out of the country this weekend, but Malacañang said these allegation were false.

He also said Duterte would address the public tonight if the IATF meeting finishes early, to announce quarantine classifications of Metro Manila and four nearby provinces that were placed under modified enhanced community quarantine from August 4 to 18.

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