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Koko faces disqualification case over senatorial bid

MANILA – Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III is facing a disqualification case that could derail his bid for re-election in the 2019 midterm elections.

Complainant and lawyer Ferdinand Topacio argued that Pimentel cannot run for senator anew as he is already serving his second and maximum allowed consecutive term.

Pimentel in August 2011 was declared the 12th winning senator in the 2007 elections after a tribunal ruled in his favor in a poll protest against Senator Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri.

Zubiri resigned before the tribunal’s ruling as witnesses alleged massive poll fraud in Maguindanao. He denied allegations that he knew about the poll cheating.

Pimentel, reelected in 2016, had said he can still run in next year’s elections, because he did not complete his first term as senator.

“We are very sure with our legal theory,” Pimentel said after filing his certificate of candidacy last week.