Netizens slam Koko Pimentel for downplaying complaint over quarantine protocol breach

Alois Isinika
Netizens slam Koko Pimentel for downplaying complaint over quarantine protocol breach
"Why would you apologize if this was a baseless case?" one Twitter user asks

Filipinos online were again in uproar over the reasons Senator Koko Pimentel submitted to prove he did not violate quarantine protocols when he went to the Makati Medical Center on March 24.

Netizens lambasted Pimentel on Saturday, July 18, for saying the complaint against him was “fatally defective.” He also said in an report, that the complaint was baseless.

Among those who called out Pimentel was actress Anne Curtis, who said the senator was being reckless and irresponsible when he accompanied his then-pregnant wife to Makati Medical Center.

Curtis also added that Pimentel’s going to the hospital “…was reckless and irresponsible (and) putting lives (of others) at risk…”

Netizens echoed the same sentiments, and said the senator’s actions almost paralyzed the hospital’s operations by putting healthcare workers at risk. (READ: Makati Med denounces Pimentel’s ‘irresponsible, reckless’ protocol breach)

Some also questioned why Senator Pimentel issued an apology if he considered the legal cases were baseless.
‘VIP boasting’

Three months after Senator Pimentel was subpoenaed by the Department of Justice for a complaint citing his violation of the notifiable diseases law, he finally filed a defense. He claimed that he was not a PUI (person under investigation) at the time. 

Instead, Pimentel brought up that some of those who had undergone coronavirus testing were VIPs.

“This is just a statement of fact and I am not praising or endorsing this VIP testing. Hence, what is the inevitable implication of this fact? That not all of those tested for Covid 19 as of March 20, 2020 were PUIs. Some were simply VIPs,” Pimentel argued.

Such reasoning did not sit well with Filipinos on Twitter.

Throughout the quarantine period, Filipinos have constantly criticized the double standard when it comes to the implementation of sanctions over violation of quarantine protocols. (READ: In PH pandemic: Due process for allies, warrantless arrests for the rest)

As of Saturday, July 18, the Department of Health recorded 65,304 COVID-19 cases in the country, breaching the experts’ initial estimate of 60,000 by the end of July. At least 1,773 died of COVID-19, while 22,067 recovered. —

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Alois Isinika

Alois Isinika is a digital communications specialist at Rappler. As a Sociology graduate, he thinks and talks a lot about the world we live in, that's why he frequently writes for Rappler Blogs or tweets his sentiments at @aloisinika.