Senator Manny Pacquiao announced on Saturday, March 28, that he tested negative for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
According to ABS-CBN Sports, Manny did the self-test at home using a South Korean-made-and-approved "rapid testing kit," which, he said, is yet to be endorsed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
"Nalulungkot po ako na may mga kasamahan ako sa senado na positibo sa Covid-19. Dahil nakasalamuha ko sila, alam ko na ako ay considered as Person Under Monitoring o PUM.
"Huwag po kayong mag-alala. May natanggap po akong Rapid Testing Kits mula sa aking mga kaibigan sa South Korea.
"Gamit ang rapid test kit na approved sa Korea, ako po ay nag-negatibo. Hindi pa approved ng FDA [Food and Drug Administration] dito pero iyon po ang ginagamit sa Korea."
He chose not to take the regular testing done by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) following the "no-symptom-no-testing" protocol set by the Department of Health (DOH).
He further explained, "Matagal na po akong hinihikayat na magpa-test sa RITM ngunit nais ko pong ipaalam na wala po akong nararamdaman na anumang sintomas. Ibang usapan na po kung meron akong kakaibang nararamdaman sa aking katawan.
"Once I experience symptoms, I am willing to undergo the swab testing for the sake of my family and my country, but I will go through the regular procedure.
"Naniniwala po kasi ako na marami tayong Persons Under Investigation o PUI na dapat unahin pagdating sa testing."
On Friday, March 27, Dasmariñas Village Barangay Chairman Rossanna Hwang issued a letter to the boxer-politician, urging him and his whole household to undergo isolation.
In his statement, the senator noted that he has been under self-quarantine since he attended the special session of the senate last Monday, March 23.