Pimentel ‘happy’ over dismissal of disqualification cases
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III has expressed happiness over the decision of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to junk the disqualification cases filed against him, which he described as a “Damocles’ sword” on his candidacy for the 2019 elections.
“I am very happy that the Comelec has finally decided on the cases which have served as a Damocles sword over my candidacy,” Pimentel said in a statement on Wednesday.
After a few months, Comelec dismissed the disqualification raps filed against him 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].”
Pimentel added that the people can now evaluate his candidacy through his qualification and advocacies.
“With this issue over, I can now expect the people to judge my candidacy on the basis of my qualification, achievements, & plans and advocacies,” he said.
Pimentel’s case stemmed from lawyer Ferdinand Topacio filing a disqualification case against the senator in October 2018.
Topacio argued that Pimentel’s two consecutive terms as senator proscribe him from seeking another term as he assumed his first term as senator in 2007.
Topacio added that the National Board of Canvassers first proclaimed Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri as the 12th winning senator and Pimentel subsequently filed an electoral protest against the former. The Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) in August 2011 then ruled in favor of Pimentel. /ee
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.