Arjo Atayde’s camp released an official statement that clarified the actor’s departure from their locked-in taping set in Baguio City after testing positive for COVID-19.
According to a statement released by FeelMaking Productions on August 18, Atayde’s parents and the production decided to rush him to a hospital in Manila.
They (Atayde’s parents) revealed that he had the symptoms of high fever, headaches, and difficulty breathing on top of his pre-existing condition.
On August 17, Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong confirmed that the actor left quarantine despite testing positive for COVID-19.
“Positive siya, kaya lang bigla siya umalis kahapon without our knowledge, claiming na siya lang daw ang asymptomatic. At yung mga kasama niya, asymptomatic, iniwanan na lang niya.”
Magalong told Regional News Group-RNG Luzon that Atayde and nine other actors tested positive for COVID-19 due to the breach of safety and health protocols.
“Nag-positive yung isang grupo na nagsu-shooting dito, yung grupo nila Mr. Atayde. They committed to us na magkakaroon sila ng bubble, pero di nangyari.
“Nagkataon pala na may mga tao sila na umuuwi sa lugar, at pagbalik, hindi nagtri-triage.”
Magalong also affirmed that he advised Atayde to self-quarantine with the nine actors who tested positive for COVID. However, the actor already fled to Manila.
“May potential na puwede siya maka-infect ng iba dahil sa ginawa niya. I’m in touch with him. Binibigyan ko lang siya ng instructions na, ‘Make sure na lahat ng tao mo walang lalabas, walang aalis.’ Only to find out na iniwanan na pala niya at nakaalis na siya.”
Aside from failing to abide by safety and health protocols, Magalong added that the cast and crew didn’t comply with the monthly COVID-19 testing requirement.
“Tapos yung monthly testing na commitment nila, hindi nagawa. So, eto nangyari ngayon. There are 10 people, sa grupo nila na 100, na nag-positive.”
As a result, Baguio City opted to implement more strict protocols for film productions.
“At this time, talagang maghihigpit na kami. Maganda naman ang intensiyon na magsu-shoot sila dito dahil they would like to promote itong city.
“Pero meron namang mga commitments iyan. Nag-usap kami. There should be commitments. Kailangan nilang i-deliver yung kanilang commitment. Strictly, they have to comply sa mga pinag-usapan.”
The production team confirmed that Atayde’s family has already reached out to Magalong regarding the actor’s departure from Baguio City.
Atayde plans to run for office in 2022.