Pimentel given more time to answer complaint


    PROSECUTORS have given Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III more time to submit his counter-affidavit to a complaint filed by lawyer Rico Quicho for violation of quarantine protocols.

    Pimentel was supposed to answer this week the complaint. The new deadline is July 15.

    “The NPS (National Prosecution Service) amended its order. So, on or before July 15, he has to submit the counter-affidavit,” said Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento.

    He also said Assistant State Prosecutor Wendell Bendoval has been assigned to handle the complaint.

    Malcontento after Pimentel submits his counter-affidavit, the complaint may be submitted for resolution because there will still be no face-to-face preliminary investigation.

    “It will be submitted for resolution unless the complainant will answer the counter-affidavit and will file a rejoinder,” he said.

    The preliminary investigation of the case was originally scheduled last May 20 and later moved to June 18.

    Malcontento said then that they have to reset the preliminary hearing as Quicho has yet to comply with some procedural requirements such as submission of the original complaint, evidence, and attachments.

    Quicho sent his complaint through email because of the enhanced community quarantine imposed to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

    In his complaint, Quicho said Pimentel violated Republic Act 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act and other health regulations when he accompanied on March 24 his then expectant wife, Kathryna, to the Makati Medical Center even though he was supposed to be on home quarantine.

    Pimentel learned he was positive for COVID-19 while in the hospital.

    The hospital management denounced Pimentel’s action.