Pimentel has until July 15 to file counter-affidavit for quarantine breach in March
This Feb. 4, 2020 photo shows Sen. Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III wearing a face mask during a Senate hearing on COVID-19.
The STAR/Mong Pintolo

Pimentel has until July 15 to file counter-affidavit for quarantine breach in March

(Philstar.com) - July 1, 2020 - 2:33pm

MANILA, Philippines (Corrected, July 8, 9:50 a.m.) — Sen. Koko Pimentel has until July 15, or more than three months since a complaint was filed against him for breaching quarantine, to file his counter-affidavit.

Pimentel was widely criticized in March for going to a hospital with his wife when he was supposed to be isolated because he might have COVID-19.

The Department of Justice extended the period to allow Pimentel to issue his counter-affidavit on the complaint filed by private lawyer Rico Quicho, who filed it through email instead of submitting a hard copy.

Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento said the assigned prosecutor issued an amended order giving the senator until July 15 to file the counter-affidavit.

“We leave it to him how he will answer the charges,” he added.

By July 15, Quicho’s complaint, filed through electronic mail on April 6, would have been pending before the DOJ for more than three months.

Proceedings on his complaint have been delayed due to community quarantine protocols and “procedural requirements” such as submission of original complaints and attachments on the part of Quicho.

In contrast, alleged quarantine violators who are not members of the Senate have been detained and quickly charged.

Since there will be no face-to-face proceedings for preliminary investigations, the complaint may be deemed submitted for resolution after Pimentel files his defenses, Malcontento said, unless Quicho files a Reply and the senator would seek a Rejoinder to rebut this.

Quicho earlier said in a Facebook post that Pimentel had asked for a 72-day extension to file his counter-affidavit. He quipped: “Parang umutot lang tapos hinihintay mawala ang amoy. Pero ang mali mo hindi mo na maitatama sa mga palusot.”

(It’s like you farted and just waited for the smell to go away, but you cannot correct your mistakes by your excuses.)

Quicho accused Pimentel of violating Republic Act 11332 or the mandatory reporting of notifiable disease when the lawmaker went to Makati Medical Center with his wife despite his pending COVID-19 test results, which later turned out to be positive.

Pimentel has since apologized for breaking the hospital’s containment protocols.

MMC said they “noted” Pimentel’s apology.

It was later found that Pimentel had also gone grocery shopping at an exclusive supermarket in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig. Supermarket workers were placed under quarantine after it was confirmed that the senator had shopped there on March 16, when he already had "flu-like symptoms". — Kristine Joy Patag with reports from The STAR/Evelyn Macairan


Editor's note: This article has been corrected to reflect that Pimentel was not "waiting for results of his COVID-19 test" when he went grocery shopping on March 16. The senator said he developed body pain on March 14, which prompted him to isolate himself from his wife. He took the COVID-19 test on March 20. The latest update also reflects a clarification on the delay in submissions.

  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with