Pimentel wants disqualification case junked

MANILA — Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Friday asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to dismiss the disqualification case filed against him by lawyer Ferdinand Topacio for lack of merit.

“It is incumbent upon the Honorable Commission to dismiss the instant petition filed against the respondent for utter lack of merit,” said the lawmaker in his 26-page Verified Answer filed before the poll body.

He noted that he did not commit any material misrepresentation in his Certificate of Candidacy (COC) when he claimed to be eligible to run for senator in the 2019 polls.

“In the absence of any deliberate attempt to mislead, misinform, or hide a fact on the part of the respondent, the Honorable Commission cannot and should not deny due course or cancel the COC of the respondent,” Pimentel said.

He also cited the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Abundo Sr. vs. Comelec case, wherein Abundo was deemed unable to serve his whole three-year term as mayor, from 2004 to 2007, since he was only able to assume post for a year and a month after being declared as the winner in the poll protest case.

“Indeed, while the respondent was ultimately declared winner in the election protest for the 2007-2013 term, respondent’s full term was drastically reduced by the active service rendered by (Senator Miguel) Zubiri,” the senator said.

Last October, Topacio filed a disqualification case against Pimentel in the forthcoming mid-term polls, saying the latter is ineligible to run.

Pimentel is seeking for a new term in the May 2019 elections. PNA-northboundasia.com