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Complaint vs Pimentel over alleged quarantine protocol breach now up for decision

A lawyer's criminal complaint against Senator Aquilino Pimentel III over the latter’s alleged quarantine breach last March is now up for decision, an official said Friday.

Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento said the complaint, filed by Rico Quicho, is now submitted for decision after Pimentel filed his rejoinder-affidavit.

In a preliminary investigation, prosecutors will determine whether or not there is basis to file charges against the respondent, in this case Pimentel, in court.

Quicho accused Pimentel of violating Republic Act No. 11332 and regulations of the Department of Health when the senator accompanied his wife to a hospital despite supposedly being under quarantine for a then-suspected COVID-19 infection.

He announced that he had tested positive on March 25. Under criticism, he said he learned of his COVID-19 test result when he was already at the hospital and that he left immediately.

Quicho filed the complaint in April. Pimentel filed his counter-affidavit this month, followed by Quicho's reply. Pimentel then filed a rejoinder to the reply.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra earlier promised a fair investigation.

"We assure everyone that the justice department will apply the law fairly and uniformly, regardless of the status of the respondent, with due respect at all times to the rights of the respondent," Guevarra had said.—AOL, GMA News