'Poblacion girl,' eight others to face charges following quarantine protocol breach -- CIDG

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 3) — The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group will file charges against nine individuals, including the so-called "Poblacion girl," for violating quarantine protocols.

In a statement, the CIDG said Gwyneth Anne Chua will be facing criminal complaints, along with her parents and several personnel of a hotel where she was quarantined.

"CIDG's investigators concluded that Ms. Chua, being a Returning Overseas Filipino (RFO) is obliged to follow the health protocol being imposed by IATF and DOH," the CIDG said.

It added that her action of leaving the quarantine facility and skipping the procedure violated sections of Republic Act No. 11332, specifically "failure to comply with a quarantine/isolation order or directive duly issued by a public health authority," and "violation of any terms or conditions of the quarantine or isolation order or directive issued by a public health authority."

Meanwhile, the CIDG said it did not find sufficient evidence to file charges against individuals who were with Chua on the night of Dec. 23 in relation to the violation she committed. However, they are encouraged to file a complaint before police investigators for further referral to the prosecutor's office.

Authorities confirm that Chua, dubbed Poblacion girl on social media and media outlets after the Makati barangay known for its bars and hotels, is currently isolated in a facility in Metro Manila after testing positive for COVID-19 on Dec. 26.

According to the CIDG's investigation, Chua checked in at the Berjaya Makati Hotel on Dec. 22 at 11:23 p.m. to supposedly complete her quarantine period after coming from the United States following protocols for ROFs. Not an hour later, however, the police said she was fetched by her own father at 11:40 p.m.

Investigators also confirmed through CCTV footage and witness accounts that Chua was in a restaurant on the night of Dec. 23. On Christmas day at 9 p.m., Chua returned to the hotel, this time accompanied by her mother.

So far, seven out of Chua's 15 close contacts have tested positive for the virus, along with one of her 19 secondary contacts, the Interior department said.