Comelec junks disqualification cases filed against Pimentel
Updated @ 8:00 p.m., Feb. 13, 2019
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) dismissed the disqualification cases filed against Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel for “lack of merit.”
“It is clear that Pimentel has not fully served his first term as senator. Thus, the two-term limit does not yet apply to him,” the First Division of the Comelec said in its decision released Wednesday. “In view of the foregoing, Pimentel is eligible to run for Senator in the May 2019 [National and Local Elections].”
Two disqualification cases were filed against Pimentel last year, claiming that the senator already two consecutive terms in the Senate, which is prohibited under the 1987 Constitution.
The cases were filed by lawyers Ferdinand Topacio and Glenn Chong.
According to the decision, Pimentel was unable to fully serve during his first term from 2007 to 2013 because of an election protest.
Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri then took over the seat for the first four years, resigning shortly before Pimentel was officially declared the rightful winner.
The ruling makes Pimentel eligible to run for the May 2019 elections.
Pimentel is running under the banner of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan party.
He is also among the 13 senatorial bets endorsed by Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), a regional party formed by Davao Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
HNP kicked off its senatorial campaign in Pampanga on Tuesday. /atm
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