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Koko to answer possible legal complaints for hospital protocol breach in due time


Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel on Friday said it would be best to respond to the complaints that would be filed against him for supposed breach of protocols at the Makati Medical Center after he gets a copy of them.

"I will respond to their allegations in due time after we read them and compare with what is in the law," Pimentel, who was tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), said in a message to reporters.

"We are in an entirely new environment where everything is in a state of flux. I believe even the so-called protocols have changed over time. Everything will be clarified in due time," he added.

On Thursday, private lawyer Rico Quicho said he is looking into possible criminal, civil, and administrative charges that may be filed against the senator for allegedly violating the home quarantine protocol and unduly exposing hospital staff to possible infection after accompanying his pregnant wife to a medical facility.

Pimentel has admitted that he went to the hospital on Tuesday but added he immediately left after getting a call from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine regarding his laboratory result.

The management of Makati Medical Center denounced the lawmaker's "reckless" action, to which Pimentel apologized.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III agreed that Pimentel broke home quarantine protocols when he went to Makati Medical Center.

Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said "human compassion" will not be discounted in handling legal matters during the health emergency.

"As I have said before, during abnormal times like these, when people are prone to commit mistakes or violations of the law, the DOJ will temper the rigor of the law with human compassion," Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said last Wednesday night.

"But this is not to say that the DOJ will not act upon the filing of a proper complaint by any interested party," he said. --KBK, GMA News