“He [Pimentel] blatantly violated laws, which put the lives and health of frontliners and even ordinary citizens at grave risk.”
By REIN TARINAY
MANILA – A former dean of the University of Makati School of Law filed charges against Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel for violating the quarantine protocols.
Rico Quicho filed this morning through electronic mail the letter-complaint with the Department of Justice (DOJ) detailing the facts and circumstances that establish Pimentel’s direct violation of Republic Act No. 11332 and its implementing rules and other Department of Health regulations.
RA 11332 or Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act prohibits “non-cooperation of the person or entities identified as having the notifiable disease, or affected by the health event of public concern.”
“As a lawyer and advocate of the rule of law, I cannot in good conscience allow the reckless actions of Senator Koko Pimentel to be brushed aside so easily. He blatantly violated laws, which put the lives and health of frontliners and even ordinary citizens at grave risk,” Quicho said in his Facebook post.
On March 24, Pimentel went to Makati Medical Center to accompany his then-pregnant wife who was at the time due for delivery of their first baby. Pimentel stated that he only learned of his positive diagnosis for COVID-19 when he was already at the hospital and that he immediately left after learning he had contracted the illness.
Apart from visiting Makati Medical Center, Pimentel also admitted that he attended two birthday parties and a meeting while being a person under investigation (PUI). He also went to S&R Bonifacio Global City Taguig on March 16, requiring the quarantine of store clerks who were exposed to him.
Quicho noted that Pimentel “admitted his breach without remorse.” “And yet because of his position, he is still not being made accountable,” he said.
The lawyer called on the DOJ to uphold the rule of law without fear or favor.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the justice department will immediately schedule the preliminary investigation on such date as may be appropriate, considering the current lockdown in Metro Manila.