Pimentel, Osmeña on Comelec list pending resolution of cases
Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III and former Sen. Serge Osmeña III may be on the list of official candidates for the May 2019 elections, but they can still be barred from running if the Commission on Elections (Comelec) rules against them in separate disqualification cases.
“That is something that has to be clarified—their cases are not yet over,” Comelec spokes-person James Jimenez said in an interview with reporters.
“[The cases are] still pending resolution. We asked the clerk of [the Comelec] and [he] said the cases of Senator Koko and former Senator Serge are not yet resolved,” he added.
No nuisance candidates
Jimenez said that Pimentel and Osmeña were among the 76 senatorial candidates on the official Comelec list only because they were not considered as “nuisance.”
Pimentel faces two disqualification cases. Critics say he is no longer qualified to seek another term in the Senate because he had already served two terms, from 2007 to 2019.
Meanwhile, the Comelec’s campaign finance office is seeking the “perpetual disqualification” of Osmeña for failing to file his campaign expense reports for two consecutive elections.
Entitled to a substitute
In the event Pimentel and Osmeña lose their cases after the official ballots have already been printed, notices would be sent out to the public and the board of election inspectors.
“If we are already printing, their names will remain. If they are somehow disqualified, then notices will go out,” he said.
Jimenez also said that Pimentel and Osmeña, if nominated by political parties, would be entitled to substitutes in case they were disqualified.
“If they are disqualified… and their names are on the ballot, substitution may be something they may want to consider,” said Jimenez.
Pimentel is nominated by the PDP-Laban party while Osmeña is running as an independent. —Tina G. Santos
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