Philippine police to probe Sen. Pimentel over quarantine breach

The Philippine National Police (PNP) will launch an investigation on Senator Aquilino “Koko” for allegedly breaching quarantine protocols after testing positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

“PNP is ready to launch investigation once complaint is filed by hospital or by an aggrieved party,” said PNP Spokesman Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac on Friday, March 27.

While no complaints have been filed yet, “once [a] complaint is filed, [the] formal investigation will commence,” the spokesman added.

The Office of the Ombudsman said it will deliberate on whether or not to investigate Pimentel

“I’m discussing with my subordinates if a motuproprio investigation will be conducted on Senator Koko Pimentel’s supposed breach of COVID-19 protocols at the Makati Medical Center,” Ombudsman Samuel Martires said Thursday, March 26.
Pimentel on Wednesday, March 25, confirmed that he had tested positive for COVID-19. He received his test result from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine while he was accompanying his pregnant wife Kathryna to the Makati Medical Center.
In response, the hospital slammed the senator for his “irresponsible and reckless action.”

“We denounce the irresponsible and reckless action of the senator. He added to the burden of a hospital trying to respond in its most competent and aggressive manner to cope with the daunting challenges of this COVID-19 outbreak,” said Makati Medical Center Medical Director Saturnino Javier in a statement.

“He violated his home quarantine, exposed health workers to possible infection, and therefore, to me, that is reckless and unacceptable,” he added.

According to Javier, the senator created another problem for the Makati Medical Center.

“A number of our nurses and doctors may need to be quarantined which will further deplete the dwindling workforce of the hospital,” he said.

Pimentel has since apologized for his actions.

“I would like to sincerely and profoundly apologize for this very unfortunate incident. I never intended to do any harm to anyone,” he said Thursday.

He added, “I never intended to breach any protocol but I realize now, I unnecessarily caused additional anguish, concern to the courageous healthcare workers who we all depend on.”

The senator also urged the MMC to communicate with him.
“I’d like to extend my apologies to the Makati Medical Center. Please tell me how I can make it up to you,” Pimentel said

Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at [email protected].

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