Two quo warranto petitions filed vs Koko Pimentel

(Eagle News)–Two quo warranto petitions have been filed against Senator Koko Pimentel, who was proclaimed as one of the winning senators in the May 13 polls.

The petitions, which were each  filed by Efren Adan and Reymar Mansilungan before the Senate Electoral Tribunal, aim to nullify  Pimentel’s victory  on the ground he was ineligible to run  for the post in the first place.

Adan and Mansilungan argued this was because Pimentel already served as senator for two consecutive terms, the most a senator under the 1987 Constitution can serve.

They noted  Pimentel  finished his first term as senator on June 30, 2013, and will have finished his second this June.

“Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of his service for the full term of which he was elected,”  they said, citing Article VI, Section IV of the Constitution.

“Petitioner is being deprived of his right as a registered voter to be guaranteed that only those elective officers who are qualified under the Constitution and the law shall be voted upon and hold public office,” Adan added.

In February, three months before the May 13 elections, the Commission on Elections’ first division junked petitions preventing Pimentel from running anew for a Senate seat.

In ruling Pimentel could seek a fresh six-year term, the division ruled the senator did not fully serve his first term as lawmaker of the Upper Chamber.

Juan Miguel Zubiri had occupied Pimentel’s seat during the first four years after the  2007 elections,  until, acting on Pimentel’s electoral protest,  Pimentel was officially declared the rightful winner.

Zubiri ended up resigning.

“Thus, the 2-term limit does not yet apply to (Pimentel),” the division had  said in February.