Pimentel, Osmena’s disqualification cases still pending – Comelec
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and former Sen. Sergio Osmeña III can still be disqualified from the midterm elections in May as the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has yet to resolve their disqualification cases.
Despite the inclusion of the names of both Pimentel and Osmeña on the official list of senatorial candidates, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said on Monday that their cases “are not yet over.”
“Basically, they’re on the list provided by the Law Department because they are not nuisance candidates and that on the face of their [Certificates of Candidacy], they are not disqualified,” Jimenez told reporters in an interview.
“So again, hindi pa tapos ‘yang storya na yan. Naghihintay pa tayo ng resolution diyan. Hindi pa tapos yung kaso, specifically ni Senator Koko Pimentel and former Sen. Serge Osmeña,” Jimenez added.
Pimentel is currently facing two disqualification cases as petitioners questioned his eligibility to run for the upcoming elections.
Meanwhile, the Comelec’s campaign finance office is seeking the “perpetual disqualification” of Osmeña for failing to file his campaign expense reports in 2010 and 2016.
“It might seem like a simple yes-or-no question, but it actually is not,” Jimenez said referring to the disqualification cases filed against Pimentel and Osmeña.
“There are deep legal issues that are involved that have to be considered and that is why the Comelec is taking the time it needs to answer these intelligently,” he added.
Despite this, Jimenez said that the names of Pimentel and Osmeña will remain in the ballots if the Comelec has not decided on their fate prior to the start of the ballot printing.
Jimenez said that the commission targets to start the printing of ballots by February 2 or 11 days before the campaign period starts for those running for a Senate seat.
Jimenez said ballots for the May 2019 midterm elections would be approximately 22-24 inches long. / gsg
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