MANILA - Another disqualification case was filed against Sen. Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Thursday questioning his eligibility to run for another term in next year’s midterm elections.
Petitioner Glenn Chong, a former congressman, argued that Pimentel was on his second and last term and was barred by the constitution from seeking a third one.
Chong described as “flawed logic” Pimentel’s contention that he would have served only 8 years by the time he steps down in June 2019.
Pimentel was first elected in 2007 but assumed only in 2011 after winning his electoral protest against Juan Miguel Zubiri. He won a second 6-year term in 2013.
The constitution sets the term of senators at 6 years and prevents them from serving for more than 2 consecutive terms.
“I am saddened that Senator Pimentel, being a lawyer and legislator, is unmindful of the term limits set by the constitution,” Chong said.
“Clearly, he forgot that that tenure is different from term... There should be no distinction in the application of the fundamental law, where none is indicated.”
Pimentel earlier downplayed the first disqualification case filed against him by lawyer Ferdinand Topacio, who raised the same issues.
The senator said he was confident of the “legal theory” behind his position that he could still run in 2019.
Chong asked the Comelec to remove Pimentel from its list of senatorial candidates.
Pimentel’s candidacy, he argued, was “unconstitutional, illegal and highly immoral."