By Jeffrey Damicog
The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) has asked the Supreme Court (SC) for an extension in the filing of a comment on the petition which sought the removal of eight incumbent senators.
OSG has already filed before the motion on behalf of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) which asked that it be allowed to file the comment on December 9.
In its motion, the OSG explained it sought for the extension in filing the comment “due to the heavy workload of the undersigned counsel.”
The petition, which named as respondent the Comelec, was filed by a group led by lawyer Vladimir Cabigao.
In the petition, the SC was asked to declare unconstitutional the election of eight incumbent “termed out” senators and several members of the House of Representatives.
With this, the SC was also asked to compel the Comelec to enforce the term limits on elective officials, particularly those in Congress, in the 2022 elections.
Those who have been identified as “termed out” senators in the petition are 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 petitioners explained that under the 1987 Constitution “the term of office of the Senator shall be six years and shall commence, unless otherwise provided by law, at noon on the thirtieth day of June next following their election and that no Senator shall serve for more than two consecutive terms.”
Also, they pointed out that Constitution also provides that “the members of the House of Representatives shall be elected for a term of three years which shall begin, unless otherwise provided by law, at noon of the thirtieth day of June next following their election, and no member of the House of Representatives shall serve for more than three consecutive terms.”
The petitioners told the SC that the Comelec “has failed, for the past 32 years, to implement Sections 4 and 7, Article VI, 1987 Constitution that makes this petition imperative to be filed with the Supreme Court in the absence of ‘other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law.’”