Treñas denies being tested for COVID-19

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas denies undergoing COVID-19 testing. (Leo S. Solinap)

By Joseph B.A. Marzan

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas has denied undergoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) test and having close contact with a person who tested positive.

Treñas made the clarification on his official Facebook page Thursday March 26, 2020, after a now-deleted post by a Facebook user started claiming that the mayor got tested for the disease made rounds online.

Hindi matuod nga nagpatest ako para sa COVID-19. Kag hindi man matuod nga naka ‘close contact’ ako sa isa ka tawo nga positibo sa nasambit nga virus. Kun matuod ina, ako mismo ang mapahibalo sa inyo tanan. Prangka man ako kag wala gid nagabinutig sa inyo tanan. Madamu nga salamat sa mga naghatag pagkabalaka sa akon, pero hindi na kamo magkabalaka bangud sa liwat, hindi na matuod,” he said in his post.

The Facebook user, whose controversial post claimed that she heard the report via radio on March 25, now claims through friends that she did not have access to her social media accounts because they had been hacked a week before and that the post did not come from her.

In a post on another Facebook account, the user said, “I’m super sad to be an instrument of a fake posted news. My account was hacked. I’ve been experiencing weird activities in both my IG and FB since last week so I changed my password a few times. I’ve been receiving text messages about my post but how can I even take control if I couldn’t access my account? Even my Instagram. Few people were bashing me for something that I didn’t do because first thing, it was posted under my name. And I understand that. But the thing here is, I’m overwhelmed with sadness about this. Imagine waking up to that and all the blame was on me?”



Netizens have expressed dismay over politicians and other key government official given “VIP (very important person) treatment” in COVID-19 tests.

Earlier this week, a list containing some officials’ names who got special treatment in the tests circulated on social media networks.

Reactions on social media focused on the lack of empathy from key government agencies, undermining the importance of testing, the limited resources such as test kits and personal protective equipment (PPE) and Persons Under Investigation (PUI) and frontline medical workers not being given priority for testing.

PUIs are persons with signs and symptoms, have history of travel to infected areas, and were potentially exposed to positive cases.

The Department of Health (DOH) has previously defended the testing of government officials, saying they were tested under previous protocol.

Senators Juan Miguel Zubiri, Aquilino Pimentel III and Juan Edgardo Angara, as well as ACT-CIS Partylist Representative Eric Yap are only some of the politicians who tested positive for COVID-19.



Treñas, meanwhile, allayed the fears of the people and said in another Facebook post that COVID-19 was a test of faith, helpfulness, and strength for the city.

Ining COVID-19, isa lamang ka pagtilaw sang aton pagtuo, pagbinuligay kag kabakod. Ginahimu naton ang tanan para mabuligan ang tanan kag kaupod nga malampuwasan naton ini. Kita nalipay gid nga sa tinion ini, mas nangibabaw ang kagustuhahan sang mga Ilonggo nga magbulig. Hindi ko na kamo pag-isaisahon, pero madamu nga salamat sa inyo tanan. In helping others, we shall help ourselves, for whatever good we give out completes the circle and comes back to us,” Treñas said.