Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III. (File photo)

MANILA – State prosecutors have given Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III until July 15 to answer the charges against him for alleged violation of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) protocols.

Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento, in a message to reporters Wednesday, said in an amended order, prosecutors have given Pimentel on or before the date to file his counter-affidavit.

"We leave it to him how he will answer the charges," Malcontento said.

The case would be considered submitted for decision by prosecutors whether to drop or file the case unless the parties file a reply and rejoinder, he added.

The Justice department earlier ordered the complainant in the case, lawyer Rico Quicho, to comply with procedural requirements, such as submission of original complaints and attachments.

In April, Quicho filed a complaint against Pimentel for alleged violation of Republic Act 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act which was signed into law last year.

Quicho has been asked to appear before state prosecutors within five days from the lifting of the ECQ to file a hard copy of his complaint.

In March, the Makati Medical Center said Pimentel breached its infection and containment protocols when he went to the hospital with his wife who was to give birth through cesarean section.

The hospital said Pimentel's visit "unduly exposed healthcare workers to possible infection" after it was found out that he tested positive for Covid-19. (PNA)