By Mario Casayuran
Beleaguered Senator Aquilino Pimentel III said Friday he would respond in due time to reports that he faces criminal and administrative charges in connection with his visit to the Makati Medical Center (MMC) while he was under investigation for COVID-19.
Pimentel, a former Senate President and a bar topnotcher, said his reply would be released after reading and comparing with what is in the law.
‘’We are in an entirely new environment where everything is in a state of flux. I believe even the so-called protocols have changed over time. Everything will be clarified in due time,’’ he said,
‘’My test was done at 11 A.M on March 20, 2020. My result was made known to me at 9 P.M. on March 24, 2020,’’ he pointed out.
Private lawyer Rico Quicho had said he is looking into possible criminal, civil, and administrative charges to file against Pimentel for allegedly violating home quarantine protocol and unduly exposing MMC hospital staff to possible COVID-19 infection.
Pimentel is being roundly criticized for bringing his pregnant wife, Kathryna Yu-Pimentel, to MMC, but breaking his quarantine protocol.
It could not be determined whether Pimentel’s wife is COVID-19 negative or not while at the MMC.
Pimentel also emphasized that Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque had not called the MMC to provide a room for his wife.
He said that he talked to Duque in the morning of March 25 ‘’and he asked me about my situation.’’
‘’By that time I have already checked my wife Kath in the hospital since yesterday 6-7 P. M. March 24, 2020. Hence, Secretary Duque has and had nothing to do with our getting a room and any room at the hospital. The good secretary was informed of my situation apparently by my sister,’’ he added.
In a statement, Kathryna Yu-Pimentel had said her husband never entered the delivery room of MMC.
‘’He went with me to Makati Medical yesterday to be admitted not knowing he was COVID positive yet. Then RITM (Research Institute for Tropical Medicine) called him around 9 P.M. (March 24) that he was positive. But he was just in the room. As soon as he found out he was positive he left me already and told my OB about his situation,’’ she said.
‘’For weeks now he was in self-quarantine and practicing social distance. We don’t even share a room for 10 days already….It was only yesterday that he went with me for admission because he was also excited to see me deliver “sana” (hopefully) which was scheduled today at 7 A.M. But was cancelled. They required me to get a swab test first before I am allowed to give birth. So he never entered the Delivery room…Even me, I didn’t enter the Delivery room yet….’’ she added.