DOJ likely to issue subpoena for Senator Pimentel next week



The Department of Justice (DOJ) will issue a subpoena “likely next week” for Senator Aquilino Pimentel III, accused of violating quarantine protocols.

“We will issue subpoena likely next week,” Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento said in a message to reporters.

He confirmed that a copy of the complaint against Pimentel will be attached to the subpoena.

The senator faces a complaint for an alleged violation of Republic Act No. 11332 and regulations of the Department of Health, weeks after he accompanied his wife to a hospital despite supposedly being under quarantine for a then-suspected COVID-19 infection.

This is a day after Lawyer Rico Quicho filed a complaint against Pimentel for allegedly violating Republic Act No. 11332 when he accompanied his then-pregnant wife at the Makati Medical Center on March 24, despite undergoing testing for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on March 20.

Pimentel had admitted experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and said he was only informed that he tested positive for COVID-19 while in Makati Medical Center.

He said he immediately left the hospital.

Both the hospital and the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed there was a breach of quarantine protocols.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra confirmed he has read Quicho’s complaint against Pimentel and has forwarded it to the Prosecutor General’s office for appropriate action.

When asked for a copy of the complaint, he said: “Sorry, we can’t give out copies of the complaint till we have sent one to Sen Koko.”

Neither Quicho nor Pimentel has provided a copy of the complaint to the media.

Guevarra on Monday said the DOJ will immediately schedule a preliminary investigation on the complaint against Pimentel on an appropriate date given the Luzon-wide lockdown.

“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. This investigation is without prejudice to the separate probe that the National Bureau of Investigation has commenced,” he said./Stacy Ang


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