The Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) junked the quo warranto petition aiming to declare Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III ineligible for the senatorial term 2019-2025.
The SET, in a 17-page decision, dismissed the petition “for lack of merit.”
Reymar Mansilungan and Efren Adan filed the quo warranto petition on May 31, 2019, which questioned the eligibility of Pimentel to run as a senator. They stressed out that Pimentel already served the 2007-2013 and 2013-2019 terms, and it would be his third term in the Senate.
According to Section 4, Article VI of the Constitution, a senator must serve no more than two consecutive terms, the petitioners said.
The SET ruling, however, said that for Section 4 of Article VI of the Constitution to stand, the senator must first complete to full terms.
“The involuntary interrupted term, cannot, in the context of the disqualification rule, be considered as one term for purposes of counting the term threshold,” the ruling read.
“Respondent was not prohibited to run and be elected for the 2019-2025 Senatorial term as he has yet to serve two consecutive Senatorial terms in full within the contemplation of prevailing law and jurisprudence,” it added.
Koko first served as a senator in 2007 but was only declared the winner in August 2011 after he won an election protest against Juan Miguel Zubiri.
He was then re-elected as a senator in 2013. The Commission on Elections allowed the Koko Pimentel’s 2019 candidacy since he did not fully serve the 2007-2013 senatorial term.
Last March, #KokoResign also circulating online after Makati Medical Center (MMC) denounced his “irresponsible and reckless action” when he accompanied his then-pregnant wife to the hospital even if he knew that he was infected.
The establishment also said the incident had caused them to put those who had direct contact in quarantine. They also took extra disinfection steps.
Pimentel apologized for his actions and asked for the public’s understanding that he was an expectant father needed by his wife. The senator also said he did not cough inside the hospital, so he thinks he did not infect anyone there.