Following reports of her breaking quarantine rules, Filipino YouTuber Mika Salamanca was arrested by Honolulu officials on July 24.
According to a report by KITV4 ABC Island News, Salamanca arrived in Honolulu from Manila on July 6 and was spotted out and about with friends four days later breaking the state’s mandatory 14-day quarantine protocol. The Hawaii Tourism Authority proved this to be true after investigating the videos submitted by witnesses of the social media influencer dancing and dining out with friends. Several people online and the owner of the establishment where Salamanca was spotted with her friends contributed to the investigation.
Conversations about Salamanca’s breach of protocol started making rounds online on July 22 to which she responded to through a YouTube video posted on July 23. In the video, Salamanca admitted that she violated the 14-day mandatory quarantine but reasoned that it was a “misunderstanding.” She claimed that authorities went to her place of residency and allegedly told her that she was cleared to go outside because her COVID-19 swab test results were negative.
However, Attorney General Clare E. Connors told KITV4 that “none of my investigators would convey that information as it is incorrect. The fact that Ms. Salamanca has so many followers makes her actions that much more dangerous and concerning. The spread of misinformation can have very severe consequences during an emergency situation like we are in now.”
Moreover, Salamanca also disclosed a phone number of the “authorities” she spoke with on her YouTube video. However, Honolulu-based journalist Annalisa Burgos reached out to that number and discovered it to be the Hawaii Tourism Authority, not the police or 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.”
As reported by KITV4, Salamanca’s relatives bailed her out of jail after posting 2,000 U.S. dollars on her behalf.
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