Pimentel faces new disqualification case over reelection bid

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FILE PHOTO. Senator Koko Pimentel III on October 11 filed his certificate of candidacy for the May 2019 elections.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 8) — Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III is facing another disqualification case over his bid for reelection in next year's midterm polls.

Lawyer and former congressman Glenn Chong filed the case before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Thursday, arguing that Pimentel had already exhausted his term limit.

Under the law, a senator can only serve for 12 years or two terms and is not allowed to seek another one.

Pimentel won in 2007, but was only proclaimed in 2011 after winning his electoral protest against Juan Miguel Zubiri. This allowed him to serve for two years. In 2013, Pimentel secured another six-year term.

Chong said the Senator's argument that he would have served only eight years when his term ends in 2019 is a "flawed logic."

"If his tenure started in August 2011, then his twelve-year tenure will expire in 2023. But, his election in 2019 will give him  a fresh term of six years- or until 2025. This is again in contradiction to the provision of the constitution," Chong said.

"I am saddened that Senator Pimentel, being a lawyer and legislator is unmindful of the term limits set by the constitution," he added.

Chong called Pimentel's candidacy "unconstitutional, illegal and highly immoral."

READ: FULL LIST: Senatorial aspirants for 2019 elections

He asked the Comelec to remove Pimentel from the list of reelectionists in the May 2019 elections.

Pimentel had previously shrugged off the first disqualification case filed against him by lawyer Ferdie Topacio, maintaining that he can seek reelection under the law.