In this Feb. 21, 2019 photo, Sen. Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III leads the oath taking ceremony for PDP-Laban in San Juan City.
The STAR/Michael Varcas, File
Koko Pimentel clinches Senate seat despite 'ditching' by Hugpong
( - May 22, 2019 - 9:43am

MANILA, Philippines (Update 2, 10:54 a.m.) — Sen. Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III secured his second term in the Senate after ranking 10th with 14,668,665 votes in the 2019 midterm elections.

Pimentel, president of President Rodrigo Duterte's party PDP-Laban, had been endorsed by administration coalition Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP).

The HNP coalition, headed by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, initially endorsed 13 senatorial candidates.

Pimentel, however, was reportedly not included in the HNP sample ballot distributed to voters on election day.

"In spite of this development, I still want to thank HNP and Mayor Inday Sara Duterte for allowing me to campaign with them for the entire 90 days. God bless us all," Pimentel tweeted on May 13.

Last February, the Comelec has junked two petitions to block the senatorial bid of Pimentel, which alleged that he is seeking a prohibited third term as senator.

In October 2018, lawyer Ferdinand Topacio filed a disqualification case against Pimentel, claiming that the senator is not allowed to run again.

In 2007, Pimentel ran for senator but lost the last slot to Sen. Miguel Zubiri, whose victory he questioned before the Senate Electoral Tribunal. Pimentel later on replaced Zubiri when the latter resigned in 2011.

Pimentel gained his first full Senate term in the 2013 elections, which was his second time to run. Citing the 1987 Constitution, the senator earlier insisted that he has not served two full terms as senator.

Under Article VI, Section 4 of the Constitution, the term of office of senators "shall be six years and shall commence, unless otherwise provided by law, at noon on the thirtieth day of June next following their election." — Patricia Lourdes Viray

Editor's note: We have updated this story to reflect that the petitions filed against Sen. Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III had been dismissed by the Comelec. 

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