Justice department to reopen Pimentel probe for violation of lockdown rules

justice department to reopen pimentel probe for violation of lockdown rules - Justice department to reopen Pimentel probe for violation of lockdown rules

THE DEPARTMENT of Justice (DoJ) will reopen its investigation of an administration senator for violating quarantine rules at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, it said on Thursday.

The agency received a copy of a memo from the National Bureau of Investigation (BI) dated Aug. 24 regarding the case of Senator Aquilino L. Pimentel III, including an incident report submitted by the director of Makati Medical Center, Assistant State Prosecutor Wendell P. Bendoval said in an order.

“In view of the foregoing and in line with the policy of admitting all evidence that could assist in the judicious resolution of complaints, the preliminary investigation of this case is hereby reopened,” according to a copy of the order.

Government prosecutors ordered the parties including Mr. Pimentel to  comment on the memo by Sept. 21. The Justice department had submitted the case for resolution in July.

Mr. Pimentel tested positive for the coronavirus in March while he was at the hospital with his wife, who was then due to give birth.

The senator was accused of violating a law that required him to disclose his illness when he accompanied his pregnant wife to the Makati Medical Center. Violators of the law may be fined as much as P50,000 or jailed for six months.

The hospital earlier rebuked Mr. Pimentel for being reckless and irresponsible. He has apologized, saying he did not mean to harm anyone. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas

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