For a few days now, O‘ahu residents have been tweeting about how local YouTuber Mika Salamanca has been allegedly violating Hawaii’s 14-day mandatory quarantine policy for incoming tourists/returning residents. Just this morning, the YouTuber finally responded to the controversy, posting a three minute explanation video entitled “nothing but the truth.”
She says these accusations are merely “misunderstandings”
Salamanca admitted that she violated the 14-day mandatory quarantine when she went out with her friends immediately after landing on O‘ahu Island on July 6, but she clarified that this was due to a misunderstanding that she’s already settled.
Salamanca narrated that law enforcement already visited her at her accommodation and told her she wasn’t in trouble. After testing negative for COVID-19, she was told that she was cleared to go outside already. However, according to her, she still chose to stay indoors and complete the 14-day quarantine which she claimed ended on July 19.
After dismissing O‘ahu residents’ outcry as merely rants and misunderstandings, she said that none of the people who posted bothered to ask for her side and just believed what they saw online.
Prior to writing the article we published yesterday, we reached out to Salamanca and FynestChina for their statements regarding the issue. Neither of them responded.
Honolulu-based journalist doesn’t buy her alibi
Annalisa Burgos, a Honolulu-based journalist, started receiving messages from concerned Hawaii residents on July 10. After looking into it, Burgos reached out to Salamanca multiple times for an interview. Salamanca did not respond. After seeing Salamanca’s explanation video, Burgos wrote a lengthy Facebook post explaining how Hawaiian law enforcement worked.
“To clarify, Hawaii law enforcement would NOT say it’s ok to stop a 14-day quarantine even with a COVID-19 test,” she wrote. This is in response to Salamanca’s claim that local law enforcement has given her a go signal to roam around the island.
“The state is working on a pre-travel program, but that is not valid until Sept. 1. I’m working to get statements from the Honolulu Police Department and the Attorney’s General’s office, which prosecutes quarantine violations,” Burgos added.
Burgos also narrated that she tried the number of the “authorities” Salamanca claims she spoke with, but when she got a hold of them it turned out to be the Hawaii Tourism Authority. It’s their hotline for visitors under quarantine, managed by neither the police nor law enforcement.
“I spoke at length to one of the reps and he said they would NEVER tell people to give out their number for this purpose,” Burgos wrote. “He said it was ‘selfish’ of Mika to give out the number, because it unfairly taxes the state’s limited resources.”
So is Salamanca’s word the “whole story”?
Several Twitter users are being bashed by Salamanca’s fans for not knowing the “whole story.” After Salamanca posted her video, fans started calling out everyone who posted about the issue to apologize to the Filipino YouTuber.
While some Filipino netizens expressed their remorse, Hawaii residents stood their ground saying that Philippine laws are far from theirs and are strictly enforced.
UPDATE AS OF JULY 24, 2020: Honolulu-based journalist Annalisa Burgos got a hold of Hawaii officials.
Here’s the statement from #Hawaii officials on Mika’s video: “Special Agents from the Dept. of the Attorney General Investigations Division would not inform anyone that they can get tested and leave quarantine. It’s simply not true.” Dan Dennison, Lead Public Information Officer