DOJ to subpoena Pimentel next week

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    Senator Koko Pimentel.

    THE Department of Justice will summon Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III “likely” next week to answer a complaint filed by lawyer and former University of Makati-Law dean Rico Quicho for breaching home quarantine rules last month, Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento said on Tuesday.

    Malcontento, as prosecutor general, heads the head the National Prosecution Service which is tasked with conducting preliminary investigation of cases filed to determine if there is enough basis to warrant its filing in court.

    “We will likely issue the subpoena next week,” he said when asked when state prosecutors will summon Pimentel to answer the complaint.

    Quicho’s complaint was filed before noon Monday and Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said he forwarded it to Malcontento’s office immediately after he read it.

    Malcontento said the complaint will be attached to the subpoena that will be sent to the senator.

    Quicho accused Pimentel of violating Republic Act 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events Act of 2018 and other regulations of the Department of Health when he went to the Makati Medical Center (MMC) on March 24 to accompany with his then expectant wife, despite being on home quarantine for having symptoms of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

    Pimentel has said he learned he was positive for the disease while he was at the hospital and left immediately after learning of the test result. He has also apologized to the MMC which slammed him for endangering its workers.

    On Monday, Guevarra said the DOJ investigation is separate from that of the  National Bureau of Investigation on the matter.