Passenger nabbed at Davao airport for showing tampered virus test result

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 13 November) – A passenger was arrested upon arrival at the Davao International Airport (DIA) from Manila on Friday for presenting a tampered reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test result.

During her live interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) on Friday, Mayor Sara Duterte said the passenger changed the date of the virus test to make it appear that it complied with the 24-hour to 72-hour window required by the local government.

Airport authorities found out that the RT-PCR test result was issued last August, she said.

Inbound passengers at the Davao International Airport. MindaNews file photo by MANMAN DEJETO

“This was what the traveler submitted at our Davao International Airport. So, as I said, our team there at the airport—they have ways to validate those 24-hour to 72-hour RT-PCR test results… It turned out that it was taken last August,” she added.

Duterte said the passenger was swabbed for coronavirus.

City Tourism Office head Generose Tecson posted on social media a photo of the tampered test result.

It showed the testing date was Nov. 10 and the date of issuance was Nov. 12, but authorities learned that the test was, in fact, taken on Aug. 13 upon verification with the Philippine Red Cross – COVID-19 platform.

“Just today, our Verification Section in Davao’s FBIA (Francisco Bangoy International Airport or DIA) caught a passenger with a tampered RT-PCR result. Please do not do this for your own sake and in consideration for the safety of your family and other people just in case you turn out positive. Testing at the FBIA is free,” Tecson said.

She said the passenger was referred to the tourist police for filing of charges for falsification of documents.

Last July 22, Duterte required swab testing for arriving passengers with no “negative” COVID-19 test results through RT-PCR, issued within 72 hours before their scheduled departure from the airport of origin, at the Davao International Airport.

Once cleared, passengers could proceed to a mandatory 14-day home quarantine. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)