‘Unassailable, correct,’ says Koko on dismissal of quarantine breach complaint
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Thursday welcomed the dismissal of a complaint against him over his alleged quarantine breach last March.
“That decision is unassailable and correct. Tama naman ‘yan,” Pimentel told reporters in a Viber message, referring to the decision of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to dismiss for lack of probable cause a criminal complaint filed against him by lawyer Rico Quicho.
JUST IN: The DOJ dismissed for lack of probable cause the complaint against Senator Koko Pimentel for violating RA 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of the Public Health Concern. | @T2TupasINQ pic.twitter.com/NjbMornzeL
— Inquirer (@inquirerdotnet) January 21, 2021FEATURED STORIESNEWSINFO
“The complaint criminally charged me for violation of [non-penal] DOH issuances which are not even addressed to me. How can something non-criminal all of a sudden become criminal when you are not even expected to be knowledgeable or an expert about their contents?” Pimentel added.
Quicho filed the complaint against Pimentel last April, accusing the senator 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 Pimentel accompanied his then-pregnant wife to the Makati Medical Center (MMC) despite being on the 10th day of his quarantine after manifesting symptoms of the disease.
“The person who charged me was not even anywhere near me or the place of the incident. Kakapagtaka why he became all of a sudden the source of the allegations,” Pimentel went on.
While in the Makati hospital, Pimentel received a call from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) confirming he is positive for the highly infectious SARS-CoV-2, which causes serious respiratory illness Covid-19.
According to the senator, he immediately left MMC after learning of the result. Subsequently, MMC denounced Pimentel’s actions, calling it a breach of infection control protocols as it was “irresponsible and reckless.”
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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