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Pimentel, Yap can face charges for violating protocol – Panelo

Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo speaking to reporters in Malacanang (Photo by DZRH Henry Uri)

Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo stressed on Friday, March 28, that violators of quarantine protocols will be dealt with in accordance to law.

Panelo issued the statement after being asked whether the Malacanang will act on the issue concerning Sen. Aquilino ‘Koko’ Pimentel III, who has been accussed of breaking home quarantine protocols.

The accussations stemmed from Pimentel leaving his residence on Tuesday, March 24, to bring his pregnant wife Kathryna to Makati Medical Center for delivery via cesarean section.

Pimentel underwent home quarantine after experiencing symptoms related to the virus, and a resource person who attended a hearing of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture tested positive for the virus.

The senator further earned the ire of the public after he announced that he tested positive for COVID-19.

Panelo mentioned that lawyers have expressed their intent to file a complaint against Pimentel since his actions endangered the health and welfare of health workers at the Makati Medical Center.

If the Department of Justice (DOJ) and state prosecutors find probable cause, the Malacanang official assured that charges will be filed against the senator.

Hahayaan natin ang Department of Justice, mga prosecutors ang mag-iimbestiga sa preliminary investigation,” Panelo said during DZRH’s Coffee Break.

Kung ano ang kanilang mga finding, in respect to whether there is an existence of probable cause, in which event, kung meron, magfifile ng kaso,” he added.

Panelo stressed that the Pimentel’s position as a senator does not exempt him from quarantine protocols.

The Palace official also said that charges might also be filed against ACT-CIS partylist Rep. Eric Yap after he failed to disclose that he had contact with people who tested positive for COVID-19, and was experiencing symptoms related to the virus in a declaration form that he filled up before entering the Malacanang on March 21.

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