By Leslie Ann Aquino
Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III is facing another disqualification case at the Commission on Election (Comelec).
On Thursday, former Biliran representative lawyer Glenn Chong filed a petition with the poll body to bar Pimentel from seeking re-election in the May 2019 midterm elections.
In his petition, Chong cited Section 4 of Article 6 of the 1987 Constitution, which states that “The term of office of senators shall only be six years and shall commence, unless otherwise provided by law, at noon on the thirtieth day of June next following their election. No senator shall serve for more than two consecutive terms.”
“This is not an attack on his person. I am saddened that Senator Pimentel, being a lawyer and legislator, is unmindful of the term limits set by the constitution,” he said in a statement.
“His filing of his Certificate of Candidacy (COC) while in clear violation of this provision is unconstitutional, illegal, and highly immoral,” added Chong.
He said Pimentel was elected as senator in the 2007 and 2013 elections which means that he already served for two consecutive terms.
Pimentel ran for senator in the 2007 polls and lost the 12th and last place to Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri which prompted him to file an electoral protest against the latter at Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET).
The SET in 2011 later proclaimed Pimentel as the duly-elected senator.
Pimentel again ran for re-election in the 2013 elections and won another six-year term.
“It is clearly stated in the Constitution that no senator shall serve for more than two consecutive terms. There should be no distinction in the application of the fundamental law where none is indicated,” Chong said.
He added that while the number of terms is not required to be stated in the COC, it can be a ground for a petition for disqualification.
Last month, lawyer Ferdinand Topacio also filed a disqualification case against Pimentel.