Raps readied vs Pimentel for breach of quarantine protocols – lawyers
MANILA, Philippines – Complaints are being readied against Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III for violating home quarantine protocols which were set up by the government to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Atty. Rico Quicho, former University of Makati law dean and one of the impeachment lawyers of then Chief Justice Renato Corona, said he and his colleagues will lead the filing of the complaints.
On Tuesday, Pimentel accompanied his expectant wife at the Makati Medical Center (MMC) even though he was supposed to be under self-quarantine for having COVID-19 symptoms as early as March 14 and waiting for his test result.
While at the hospital, he learned that he is positive for the disease via a phone call from the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM). The senator made public his test result.
The MMC denounced Pimentel’s actions calling it “irresponsible and reckless” as he exposed the health workers to possible infection.
Quicho said being a father himself, he understood the humanity in wanting the best for his wife and child.
“Pero bilang abugado at senador, (But as a lawyer and a senator) he should have had the common sense to prioritize the country’s welfare…His selfish act led to the quarantine of a whole department and greatly handicapped critical medical services,” he said
Quicho said it is clear that there was a violation committed by Pimentel and “human compassion” should not be used as a reason to let it slide.
He said he, along with his law associates, law students, and friends are drafting the complaints that will be filed against the senator.
“We cannot let such ineptitude into positions of power. We will rely on the full force of law — we are looking into criminal, civil, administrative charges. Not only to make him accountable but also to set an example,” Quicho said.
“We are coordinating with different medical associations, individuals, and concerned citizens and we encourage MMC to review its CCTV footage and join us in clarifying the facts of the situation and holding those responsible to account…We owe this not only to the other MMC patients exposed but also to the front-liners who were put at risk,” he said.
He said thousands are being arrested for violating the enhanced community quarantine.
“Bakit kapag ordinaryong mamamayan ang dali nyong ipahiya, saktan at hulihin pero kapag si Koko at mga VIP puro kayo palusot at nag aabogado sa kanila. Double standard na, whitewash pa,” he said.
(Thousands are being arrested on the spot for violating the enhanced community quarantine because we need social distancing. But why is it that if its ordinary people it is easy to humiliate and arrest them but not for Koko and the other VIPs.)
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