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Koko waiting for copy of complaint filed vs. him for ‘reckless’ visit to Makati Medical Center

Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III on Monday said he is still waiting to be furnished with a copy of the legal complaint filed against him over his alleged violation of quarantine protocols last month.

"Haven't read it... DOJ, I think will find a way to give me a copy. Bago kasi itong e-mail filing. I am not familiar with the procedure," Pimentel said in a message to reporters.

Earlier in the day, lawyer Rico Quicho posted on Facebook that he had e-mailed the Department of Justice (DOJ) a letter-complaint against Pimentel "detailing the clear facts and circumstances that establish his direct violation of Republic Act No. 11332 and its implementing rules and other DOH regulations."

The said measure, also known as the "Law on Reporting of Communicable Diseases," prohibits the "non-cooperation of persons or entities that should report and/or respond to notifiable diseases or health events of public concern," and the "non-cooperation of persons who have been identified as having the notifiable disease, or those affected by the health event of public concern."

Such prohibited acts are punishable by a fine of P20,000 to P50,000 and/or one to six months of imprisonment.

Pimentel's decision to accompany his then-pregnant wife to Makati Medical Center on March 24 despite his pending COVID-19 test result received a lot of criticisms, including that of the hospital management.

The lawmaker, for his part, said he immediately left the hospital premises after getting a call from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine regarding his laboratory result. 

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

The senator has since apologized and said that he will answer all possible complaints in due time— Dona Magsino/RSJ, GMA News