By Ben Rosario
Bulacan Rep. Henry Villarica has become the third Philippine Bar topnotcher to test positive for COVID-19, the House of Representatives announced Thursday night.
Villarica, vice chairman of the House committee on labor and employment, is the second congressman to reveal his state of health.
House Secretary General Jose Luis G. Montales said the neophyte lawmaker last reported for work on March 4.
Villarica topped the 1971 Philippine Bar examination. Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel, who was also the No. 1 bar exam taker in 1990, is also positive for COVID-19.
Another lawyer who was also the topnotcher in a bar examination has died of COVID-19. However, family members refused to confirm this.
Montales said Villarica was present at an event that was also attended by Baliuag, Bulacan Mayor Ferdie Estrella, also a COVID-19 patient.
“Rep. Villarica was admitted to the hospital on March 12 for pneumonia. His condition is stable. Members of his staff have not exhibited any symptom,” Montales said.
Earlier, the Lower House said a third and final laboratory examination has revealed that Manila Teachers party-list Rep. Virgilio Lacson is not infected with the coronavirus.
Lacson was reported to have tested positive twice for COVID-19. The third test indicated he never got the deadly virus. (Ben R. Rosario)