THE Presidential Security Group has proposed a total lockdown of the Malacañang Complex to ensure protection of the executive branch’s seat of power from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The lockdown will begin on Saturday, March 28, until Friday, April 10, said PSG chief Col. Jesus Durante III. The proposal, however, is still waiting for approval from the Office of the President.
Meanwhile, the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) is set to impose a media ban during the Palace’s press briefing, and will limit access only to government media and personnel.
Inquiries from privately-owned media would have to be given in advance to the PCOO.
The PSG recommendation came after a lawmaker who attended a Palace meeting tested positive for the disease.
It was confirmed today, March 27, that General Felimon Santos Jr., chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, also tested positive for COVID-19.
The AFP Public Affairs Office said in a statement that Santos was tested on March 23, the same day he visited Heroes Hall in Malacañang.
Santos said that he was on home quarantine on Tuesday, March 24, after coming into contact with another senior AFP officer who later tested positive for the new virus. They are the first two confirmed cases among the Philippine military ranks.