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VIRAL NOW: Makati Med Versus Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, Social Media Under Fire

Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III is making round on social media following after his presence in Makati Medical Center (MMC) with her new wife Kathryna who is about to give birth.

The senator was maybe excited over the anticipated coming of his first child with Kathryna, his new wife, the reason he went out home even if the senator is undergoing self-quarantine as Person under Investigation (PUI) to go with her wife where she was scheduled for a caesarean delivery in Makati Med.

His presence in the hospital created controversial issue in the online world after the Makati Med issued strong worded statement against the senator.

According to the MMC Medical Director Saturnino Javier, the senator goes against the protocol of 14-day quarantine period imposed by the Department of Health (DOH) to observe and comply every PUI like of the case of the senator. Citing his presence at Makati Med during the scheduled caesarean delivery of his wife. Based on the radio interview, it claimed that Pimentel entered the delivery room with his wife even if the senator knows he is a PUI that he should not even come out from his house as he imposed self-quarantine until result of his test from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) arrived from which later tests result of Pimentel was positive. In the first place, the senator knows that one of the quarantine regulations is don’t go out in public during a 14-day period of isolation.

As a consequence, Pimentel’s presence at MMC compromised some of the hospital’s staff including doctors and nurses that they may be put themselves on quarantine which resulting to a reduce of much-needed manpower during the crisis, Javier said.

With this, the hospital issued official statement saying,

“We denounce the irresponsible and reckless action of the senator,” Javier said on Wednesday afternoon after word spread on social media about Pimentel allegedly contaminating the hospital.

“He added to the burden of a hospital trying to respond in its most competent and aggressive manner to cope with the daunting challenges of this COVID-19 outbreak. More than anyone else, Mr. Pimentel should have realized the ardent desire of every well-meaning Filipino and every dedicated health-care institution to contain the spread of the infection,” the statement said.

“His admonition for everyone to observe social distancing, enhanced community quarantine measures, washing of hands and personal hygiene are empty rhetoric because he himself violated all those,” it said. “By his actions he contributed no solution. In fact he created another problem for Makati Medical Center, the very institution which embraced his wife for obstetric care.”

According to the report, Pimentel went into quarantine since March 11 after he was exposed to senator Sherwin Gatchalian who was earlier announced that he was to isolate himself after learning that he had gotten in contact with a man positive for SARS-CoV-2 the virus that later named COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Pimentel, in his statement, he admitted that he went with his wife in the hospital who was scheduled to give birth on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 in the morning, but he claimed he walk out immediately and did not touring the hospital.

On the other hand, the wife of the senator, Kathryna expresses herself through a text messages saying she was really sad upon learning that some netizens were insisting that she and the senator had gone into the delivery room, in contrast to the claim of the hospital.

“(My husband) never (went) inside the delivery room,” she said.

“I took the stress test for the baby inside the examination room. I even asked the nurse what the room is called. The examination room is beside their recovery room, which is still far from the delivery room,” she said.

Her husband, she added, was not with her during her examination around 8:30 p.m.

“I was alone inside since they told me that my husband or any other person is not allowed (to stay with me). I even took a picture of the examination room during my stress test,” she said.

“I no longer understand why (MMC), given their prestigious name, would insist on a story that is not even true,” Kathryna lamented.

Kathryna suggested that the management of the hospital should check the security camera so that everyone knows who was telling the truth.

The world of social media expresses their reactions towards the incident, some of the iconic personality said,

“Shame on you, Koko Pimentel,” said film director and writer Kip Oebanda on Twitter. “You put doctors and the sick in danger. … How can our senators be so callous, irresponsible and self-centered. Disgusting! We will never forget this.”

Gideon Lasco, an Inquirer columnist, said also on Twitter that Pimentel’s actions “disgraced the Senate, violated the government’s own directives, and endangered people’s lives.”

“Such careless and arrogant behavior is more dangerous than any virus. I join calls for him to apologize and immediately resign,” he added.

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