Cabinet Secretary and Acting Presidential Spokesperson Karlo Nograles assured the public that Berjaya Hotel in Makati City will “bear the brunt” of its actions in connection with the Gwyneth Anne Chua case.

“Again there are penalties that can be imposed by DOT (Department of Tourism), presumably by the other government agencies kung saan sila dumadaan (that regulates them),” Nograles said of Berjaya during an interview Monday morning, Jan. 3, over ANC Headstart.

“Ayokong pangunahan (I don’t want to preempt it) but obviously with those admissions and all the evidence we’re getting, then we will implement to the fullest extent of the laws–kung ano ang (whatever the) applicable laws, we will execute them accordingly and they will, you know, bear the brunt of their actions,” he underscored.

The management of Berjaya had earlier apologized to the public for “failing to stop Chua from jumping her quarantine”. Chua recently returned to the Philippines from overseas and later tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

After skipping her quarantine, Chua reportedly attended a party where she would infect at least 10 other persons.

Berjaya claimed that the health protocol breach was the “only incident of its kind in the nearly two years that we have served as a quarantine hotel and we will make sure that it is the last”.

Asked about anecdotal reports of other smaller hotels allowing returning Filipinos to not finish their required quarantine on the basis of being fully vaccinated or having produced a negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test, Nograles said he has heard of them

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles being interviewed on ANC Headstart on Jan. 3, 2022 (Screenshot from ANC YouTube video)

“May mga naririnig tayo but again hindi mo alam kung tsismis lang ba ito or sinisiraan lang ba (We’ve heard of them but again we’re not sure if they’re just gossip or an attack against these hotels). What we need are witnesses and what we need are affidavits,” answered Nograles, who serves as spokesperson of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases or IATF.

“So kung mayroon man nakakaalam (So if the public knows something), please report to us immediately so we can take the proper action,” he added.

Nograles reminded the accommodation establishments that they “have certain responsibilities” amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic) and that “not just civil suits but criminal actions can be filed against you”.

He further vowed that the government would prosecute all those responsible for lapses such as those that occurred in the Chua case “serve as an example to all”.

The case coincides with the ongoing surge in new cases of COVID-19 that was triggered by Filipinos’ activity during the holiday season.

The spike in cases and high positivity rate have caused the IATF to escalate the National Capital Region (NCR) from alert level 2 to alert level 3 for the period of Jan. 3 to 15.

Source: Manila Bulletin (