Pimentel to file counter affidavit next week

Published June 25, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Jeffrey Damicog

Senator Aquilino Martin “Koko” Pimentel III is set to file before the Department of Justice (DOJ) his counter affidavit next week in response to allegations that he violated quarantine protocols.

Sen. Koko Pimentel (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)
Sen. Koko Pimentel
(Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)

“We expect it next week,” said Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento on Thursday, June 25.

Malcontento explained that Assistant State Prosecutor Wendell Bendoval, who is handling the preliminary investigation of the case, granted Pimentel’s motion who sought for more time to file the counter affidavit to answer the allegations in the complaint filed by former University of Makati law dean Rico Quicho.

Melcontento said Quicho has already complied with the order of the prosecutor to submit hard copies of the complaint and pieces of evidence.

The prosecutor previously postponed the scheduled June 18 start of the preliminary investigation since Quicho had not submitted hard copies of the complaint and the pieces of evidence which he sent to the DOJ through e-mail only on April 6.

The prosecutor previously postponed the May 20 scheduled preliminary investigation due to the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) implemented in Metro Manila.

Malcontento explained the submission of the hard copies of the documents is part of due process since Pimentel is entitled to review all the evidence against him.

In his complaint, Quicho, who served as spokesman of former Vice President Jejomar Binay and the late Chief Justice Renato Corona, said Pimentel should be held liable for violating Republic Act No. 11332, the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act, and its implementing rules and other Department of Health (DOH).

The case concerns the visit of Pimentel on March 24 to the Makati Medical Center (MMC) to accompany his then pregnant wife, Kathryna.

MMC had denounced the lawmaker’s actions since he was supposed to be under self-quarantine at that time and was considered a person under monitoring (PUM).

After his visit, Pimentel confirmed he was tested positive for having the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Meanwhile, his wife gave birth last March 29.