MANILA – The Department of Justice will issue a subpoena “likely next week” for Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, who is accused of violating quarantine protocols, its prosecutor general said Tuesday.
This comes a day after lawyer Rico Quicho filed a complaint against the senator 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 COVID-19 on March 20.
Pimentel, who admitted to experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, said he was only informed that he tested positive for COVID-19 while in MakatiMed and he immediately left the hospital.
Both the hospital and the Department of Health confirmed there was a breach of quarantine protocols.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra confirmed he has read lawyer Rico 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 Justice department 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 added.