By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Tuesday reiterated that he has only served one term in Senate and is eligible to be reelected after the May 13 midterm polls.
Pimentel dismissed the claims made by ex-newscaster Jay Sonza on Twitter saying that the former will be disqualified from the winning circle of the senatorial race because of violating the two-term limit for senators, and Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito will “eventually” make it to the Top 12.
The former TV personality, citing the law, stressed that the administration senatorial bet was elected in 2007 and reelected in the 2013 midterm elections.
But Pimentel maintained that his assumption in Senate after winning the 2007 senatorial race should not be considered a full term.
“Define a term. Supreme Court says that if tenure of elected official is not for the complete term of office — and non completion is not caused by the official concerned — such service or tenure is not to be counted as a term for purposes of the term limit provisions in the Constitution,” the senator-lawyer said in a message to reporters.
“Apply that to my situation: the 2007-2013 term of office which I began to serve only in August 2011 cannot be considered as one term for purposes of the two term limit for senators in the Constitution. My only term is the 2013-2019 term. Hence, so far, only one term,” Pimentel added.
He hit Sonza for speaking about the legality of his reelection bid in the May 13 polls.
“Is Jay Sonza a lawyer? Or has he consulted a lawyer? Kawawa naman. Patulan pa ba yan?” he said.
Pimentel is poised to be reelected after he ranks 10th in the senatorial polls as of the latest official tally.
Last February, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) junked the disqualification petitions filed against Pimentel and ruled that he “is eligible to run for senator”. The poll body sided with the reelectionist senator in saying that he did not serve a full first term.
Pimentel assumed his Senate seat in 2011, after his rival Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri yielded that he won the 12th winning place in the 2007 polls. #MatalinongBoto2019