SC told to unseat ‘termed out’ senators, congressmen
A petition was filed before the Supreme Court on Monday questioning the legality of ‘termed out’ lawmakers, specifically eight sitting senators and several members of the House of Representatives.
The termed out senators were identified as Senate President Vicente Sotto III, and Senators Franklin Drilon, Panfilo Lacson, Francis Pangilinan, Lito Lapid, Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., Pia Cayetano and Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III.
The petition was filed by Vladimir Alarique T. Cabigao, Yen Makabenta, Mary Wendy A. Duran, Monolito Coronado, Socorro Marcel Namia Nepomuceno, Jef Nalus Aquino, Antonio Santos and Cesar Evangelista.
They asked that “the election of the termed out legislators and local elective officials be declared unconstitutional such that if this case would be determined prior to the expiration of the term of the termed out elective officials, the remaining balance of their unexpired term be declared vacant to pave the way for the election of fresh aspirants who would not suffer from the inhibition of the term limit rule.”
Citing the 1987 Constitution, they claimed that a senator cannot serve for more than two terms of six years each or a total of 12 years, while a member of the House of Representative has a term limit of nine years for three consecutive terms of three years each.
The petitioners stressed that once a senator was elected and has served consecutively for two terms or a total of 12 years, he or she cannot run again and be elected senator for the rest of his/her life.
Similarly, the same rule applies to those elected for three consecutive terms or a total of nine years for members of the House of Representatives.
They cited as their legal basis Sections 4 and 7, Article VI of the Constitution.
Section 4 provides, among other things, that “the term of office of the Senator shall be six years and shall commence, unless otherwise provided by law, at noon on the thirtieth day of June next following their election and that no Senator shall serve for more than two consecutive terms.”
Section 7, on the other hand, provides, among other things, that “the members of the House of Representatives shall be elected for a term of three years which shall begin, unless otherwise provided by law, at noon of the thirtieth day of June next following their election, and no Member of the House of Representatives shall serve for more than three consecutive terms.”