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Pimentel on COVID-19 ‘quarantine breach’: ‘My lawyers will do what is necessary’

/ 05:10 PM April 14, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — “(M)y lawyers will do what is necessary.”

This was what Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III told reporters on Tuesday when sought for a comment regarding the complaint filed against him over his alleged breach of COVID-19 quarantine protocol.

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The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently said it would issue a subpoena ordering Pimentel to appear in the preliminary investigation of the case tentatively scheduled on May 20.

“Re(garding) DOJ case, my lawyers will do what is necessary. I will defer to them,” Pimentel said in a Viber message.

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Private lawyer and former law Dean Rico Quicho filed the complaint, accusing Pimentel of violating Republic Act No. 11332, or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events Act of 2018, and other regulations of the Department of Health (DOH) when the lawmaker escorted his pregnant wife to the Makati Medical Center (MMC) despite being on the 10th day of his quarantine after manifesting symptoms of COVID-19.

While in the Makati hospital, Pimentel received a call from the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM) confirming he is positive for the highly infectious respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

According to the senator, he immediately left MMC after learning of the result.

Subsequently, MMC denounced Pimentel’s actions breaching infection control protocols calling it “irresponsible and reckless.”

MMC also slammed Pimentel for violating the strict guidelines of social distancing, quarantine, and hygiene, and said his actions created more problems for the rapidly depleting healthcare sector as threats of the COVID-19 pandemic persists.

Pimentel has since apologized to the hospital but maintained he did not intentionally violate COVID-19 quarantine protocols. He likewise stressed he did not mean to “do harm on anyone.”

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What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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