MANILA – The lawyer who filed a complaint against Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III over alleged breach of quarantine rules can file an appeal asking prosecutors to reconsider their decision that cleared the lawmaker from charges.

"He has 15 days from receipt of the resolution to file a motion for reconsideration," Prosecutor Honey Delgado, spokesperson of the Office of the Prosecutor General said in a message to reporters on Wednesday, referring to the complainant, lawyer Rico Quicho.

The Justice department last month junked charges filed by Quicho against Pimentel arising from the latter’s visit to the Makati Medical Center (MMC) where his wife was giving birth even as he tested positive for Covid-19.

Prosecutors resolved to dismiss the complaint against Pimentel for violation of Section 9 (e) of Republic Act 11332 or the “Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of the Public Health Concern” for lack of probable cause.

Prosecutors ruled that Pimentel is not a public health authority and therefore, not obliged to report.

It also said assuming as a private individual, Pimentel was mandated to report his medical condition under RA 11332, there was nothing to report then when he went to the supermarket at the Bonifacio Global City on March 16, 2020 and at the MMC on March 24, 2020, since he only knew about his health condition while he was already at the premises of the hospital.

“There is no ‘non-cooperation’ under Section 9(e) of RA 11332 as Senator Koko Pimentel was deemed to have ‘cooperated’ when he left the hospital premises immediately after receiving the information about his medical condition,” prosecutors said.

They said the complaint itself is fatally defective since the complainant was not the proper party to file the instant complaint, and the pieces of evidence he presented were all hearsay as they were based only on news reports.

“News reports, being hearsay evidence, cannot be relied upon as proof of the allegations in the complaint, or as proof of the truth, because they were merely learned, read, or heard from others,” Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento said.

The MMC earlier said Pimentel breached its infection and containment protocols when he went to the hospital with his wife who was about 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 on March 25. (PNA)