DOH endorses quarantine breach raps vs Pimentel to law enforcers
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

DOH endorses quarantine breach raps vs Pimentel to law enforcers

( - July 16, 2020 - 11:37am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health has endorsed a quarantine breach complaint against Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III to the police and the National Bureau of Investigation, Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire confirmed Friday.

In a media forum, Vergeire said the agency forwarded the complaint of lawyer Rico Quicho to law enforcers.

“We have endorsed it to appropriate authorities such as the NBI and the Philippine National Police,” the health official said.

Pimentel was widely criticized in March for going to Makati Medical Center with his then pregnant wide when he was supposed to be on self-isolation.

The hospital management denounced his “irresponsible and reckless action.” The senator has since apologized for breaking the hospital's protocols.

Quicho, former dean of the University of Makati, filed a complaint against Pimentel for breaching quarantine protocols. He accused the senator of violating the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act when he went to MMC with his wife despite his pending COVID-19 test results, which later turned out to be positive.

Pimentel’s defense

In a counter-affidavit filed before the Department of Justice, Pimentel said he was charged “based on a mere hearsay.”

“Atty. Quicho theorizes that by having a sample collected for COVID-19 testing on March 20, 2020, I was already identified as a person under investigation (PUI) and was required to undergo a mandatory self-quarantine. Atty. Quicho’s reasoning is that since a PUI has to be tested then all those who have been tested are PUIs. He is grossly mistaken,” Pimentel said.

He cited Health Secretary Francisco Duque’s statement that some prominent personalities requested testing.

“This is just a statement of fact and I am not praising or endorsing this VIP testing. Hence, what is the inevitable implication of this fact? That not all of those tested for COVID-19 as of March 20, 2020 were PUIs. Some were simply VIPs,” he said.

Under DOH's standards at the time, a PUI is a person who at least two of these qualifications:

  • Signs and symptoms
  • Travel history in the past 14 days to areas with issued travel restrictions
  • History of exposure

Gaea Katreena Cabico with report from Kristine Joy Patag

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: December 9, 2020 - 3:44pm

Metro Manila and other “highrisk” areas were placed under a modified enhanced community quarantine last May 16, which is more relaxed than ECQ, but has more restrictions compared with the general community quarantine (GCQ). Bookmark this page for updates. Photo by The STAR/Michael Varcas

December 9, 2020 - 3:44pm

The local government of San Juan Batangas orders the closure of Blue Coral Beach Resort in Laiya Aplaya following repeated violations of COVID-19 protocols.

This comes after a video of a large group partying without face masks, face shields and not observing physical distancing at the beach of the resort were sent to the Department of Tourism.

San Juan Mayor Ilderbrando Salud has issued a memo revoking the business permit of the beach resort. —  Report from Rosette Adel

December 7, 2020 - 10:29pm

President Rodrigo Duterte says he will ask local government units to make necessary arrangements on vacant hotels and motels to allow COVID-19 patients to stay in their premises.

Duterte says he will ask the Congress to find a way to compensate the hotels that will accommodate coronavirus patients.

"To the owners of hotels, inns, motels to accommodate the Filipinos who are in need of help. I will assume the full responsibility of paying you pagdating ng panahon," Duterte says in a recorded speech aired late Monday.

December 7, 2020 - 4:25pm

The Zamboanga City government strongly opposes proposals of Interior Secretary Eduardo Año in allowing children to go to malls and other public places with their parents.

The local official and health authorities also disapprove of the possibility of expanding the manner of classes to face-to-face classes engagement as part of the ‘new normal.’

Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar expresses her disapproval, citing critical observations by local health officials here about the eminent contamination from the deadly Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome CoronaVirus (SARS-CoV) which causes the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

“It is not still safe to allow children to go out except for medical reasons or emergency cases,” Salazar says in her virtual presser. —  The STAR/Roel Pareño

August 18, 2020 - 4:47pm

Sen. Bong Revilla, who earlier tested positive for COVID-19, was rushed to the hospital, according to his wife Bacoor Mayor Lani Mercado.

"He is being rushed to the hospital. His latest X-ray shows that he has developed pneumonia and isolation in a regular facility is no longer ideal," Mercado says in a Facebook post Tuesday.

August 18, 2020 - 4:23pm

The Department of Health reports 4,836 additional COVID-19 cases in the country, pushing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 169,213.

The DOH also logs 182 new recoveries, bringing the total of recovered patients to 112,861. The national death toll is now at 2,687 with the addition of 7 new reported deaths.

Total active cases (net of COVID-19 deaths and recoveries) in the Philippines is now at 53,665.

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