There’s no truth that Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III was seen "drinking beer" or "relaxing" at a men’s club in Quezon City in the wee hours of the morning on March 16.
Two fake statements insinuating he was, both attributed to the Pegasus KTV—The Ultimate Men’s Club on Quezon Avenue, spoofed the March 26 statement of the member-shopping club S&R, which confirmed Pimentel was at its Bonifacio Global City branch in Taguig the afternoon of March 16.
Pegasus suspended business operations from March 14 to mid-April in keeping with the community quarantine. It posted the notice of temporary suspension of operations on its Facebook page.
Update: Pegasus issued an official statement denouncing the fake news shortly after FactRakers published this fact check.
The fake Pegasus statements, shared mostly through Facebook and private messaging apps, are the latest of social media posts attacking the senator or making him the butt of jokes after he accompanied his pregnant wife to the Makati Medical Center March 24.
Pimentel was a PUI (person under investigation) at the time of the visit. He was confirmed positive for COVID-19 the day after. PUIs have been instructed to self-quarantine.
The hospital denounced Pimentel for breaching hospital infection control protocols and unduly exposing its personnel to possible infection.
Pimentel is identified in one of the fake statements, which reads in part:
Yesterday, March 25, there was a post circulating online about Senator Koko Pimentel seen relaxing at the PEGASUS Quezon Avenue. Upon learning this, we immediately reviewed our CCTVs and validated the transaction with our front-end personnels.
It was confirmed that the senator was at PEGASUS Quezon Avenue on March 16, 2020. CCTV footage showed him checking out at table 13 at exactly 1:59 AM.
A variation only made reference to “one senator.” Its first two paragraphs:
Yesterday, March 25, there was a post circulating online about One senator seen drinking beer inside the bar. Upon learning this, we immediately reviewed our CCTV and validated those pictures circulating on social media.
It was confirmed that one senator was at Pegasus Quezon City on March 16, 2.020. CCTV footage showed him enjoying at table no. 3 at exactly 2:24 AM
The first two paragraphs of statement from S&R:
Yesterday, March 25, there was a post circulating online about Senator Koko Pimentel seen shopping at S&R Bonifacio Global City. Upon learning this, we immediately reviewed our CCTVs and validated the transaction with our front-end personnels.
It was confirmed that the senator was at S&R BGC on March 16, 2020. CCTV footage showed him checking out at counter 13 at exactly 1:59 PM.
Pimentel, former Senate president, has apologized to the Makati Medical Center and its staff and sought “understanding and compassion.”
The justice department has not ordered an investigation on the senator's quarantine breach, citing the absence of a formal complaint.
Besides Pimentel, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri and Sen. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara are COVID-19 positive.
ANC. (2020, March 25). PH Senator Pimentel apologizes for going to hospital; asks for public understanding [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZNX3dZ0GiE
DOJ to act only if complaint filed vs. Koko Pimentel over Makati Med trip. (2020, March 25). Retrieved from https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/731288/doj-to-act-if-complaint-filed-vs-koko-pimentel-over-makati-med-trip/story/
Madarang, C. (2020, March 26). Is compassion for everyone? DOJ asked over inaction on Pimentel’s protocol breach. Retrieved from https://www.interaksyon.com/politics-issues/2020/03/26/165133/is-compassion-for-everyone-doj-asked-over-inaction-on-pimentels-protocol-breach/
Makati Medical Center. (2020, March 25). Senator Aquilino Martin Pimentel III breached MakatiMed hospital infection control protocols. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/IamMakatiMed/photos/a.2264879730259801/2878927122188389/?type=3
Navallo, M. (2020, March 25). DOJ: No grounds yet to launch investigation into Pimentel’s quarantine breach. Retrieved from https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/03/25/20/doj-no-grounds-yet-to-launch-investigation-into-pimentels-quarantine-breach
Pegasus The Ultimate Men's Club. (2020, March 16). Notice of temporary suspension of operation [Facebook update]. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/PegasusKTVOfficialPage/photos/a.407397112961571/1082167888817820/?type=3&theater
Pegasus The Ultimate Men's Club. (2020, March 27). Official statement of Pegasus management [Facebook update]. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/PegasusKTVOfficialPage/photos/a.408613699506579/1090939174607358/?type=3&theater
S&R Membership Shopping. (2020, March 26.) Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/snrmembershipshopping/photos/a.277932842283694/3001970716546546/?type=3