SC asked to unseat ‘termed-out’ senators, congressmen, local execs
MANILA, Philippines – A group of lawyers and private individuals has asked the Supreme Court to declare as unconstitutional the election of several senators, members of the House of Representatives and local officials who have served beyond the term limit provided under the Constitution.
In a 20-page petition, the group led by Atty. Vladimir Cabigao also urged the High Court to compel the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to strictly implement the term limits of elected officials in the 2022 elections.
Petitioners specifically want the poll body to implement Sections 4 and 7, Article VI, 1987 Constitution by requiring Comelec to deny giving due course to the certificates of candidacy of “termed out” elective officials starting in the next elections in 2022.
Section 4 provides that “no senator shall serve for more than two consecutive terms” while Section 7 states that “no member of the House of Representatives shall serve for more than three consecutive terms.”
Based on the said provision, petitioners said a senator cannot serve for more than two terms of six years each or a total of 12 years, while a member of the House of Representative has a term limit of nine years for three consecutive terms of three years each. After that, they can no longer run for the same office again even after taking a hiatus, said the petitioners.
Currently, according to petitioners, the following are the “termed out” senators or those that has served for two terms already – Senate President Vicente Sotto III, and Senators Franklin Drilon, Panfilo Lacson, Francis Pangilinan, Lito Lapid, Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., Pia Cayetano and Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III.
The petition pleaded that “the election of the termed-out legislators and local elective officials be declared unconstitutional such that if this case would be determined prior to the expiration of the term of the termed-out elective officials, the remaining balance of their unexpired term be declared vacant to pave the way for the election of fresh aspirants who would not suffer from the inhibition of the term limit rule.”
The petition was filed by Atty. Vladimir Alarique T. Cabigao, Atty. Mary Wendy A. Duran, Atty. Monolito Coronado, Atty. Socorro Marcel Namia Nepomuceno, Atty. Cesar Evangelista, Jef Nalus Aquino, Antonio Santos Yen Makabenta.
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