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Early birds! Koko Pimentel, Freddie Aguilar among first to file COC

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By Xave Gregorio

Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and folk singer Freddie Aguilar are among the first to file their certificates of candidacy after the Commission on Elections (Comelec) opened its doors Thursday (October 11) to aspiring senators.

Accompanied by fiancée Kathryna Yu, Pimentel, president of ruling party Partido Demokratiko Pilipino – Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), trooped early to the Comelec office in a repeat of his 2012 COC filing, where he was also first to file.

This is the third consecutive time he would run for senator, after 2007 and 2013.

“Marami pa tayong kailangan gawin for the Filipino family, para sa pamilyang Pilipino. Number one: anong problema ngayon, mataas na presyo. That’s a never-ending battle … Endo hindi pa tapos, federalism hindi pa tapos,” Pimentel told Politiko in a chance interview.

However, Pimentel explains that this is still technically his second term, as he only got a Senate seat for the first time in 2011, when Senator Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri resigned days before the Senate Electoral Tribunal ruled in favor of Pimentel’s protest against him.

“If you look at the Constitution, sabi doon the senatorial term is six years. So I’ve been in office, right now, six years kung bibilangin mo. So there’s only one term,” Pimentel said.

Pimentel said he is ready if a disqualification is lodged against him. “It’s a free country,” he said.

He is among the “six or seven” PDP-Laban members who would be running for senator.

Aguilar was also among the first to file his COC and is also running under PDP-Laban, however, Pimentel said he has no certificate of nomination and acceptance from the party.

If elected, Aguilar said he would push for laws granting protection to entertainers.

“Kung tayo po’y papalarin, magpapanukala po tayo na mabigyan ng protection ang entertainers,” Aguilar told reporters.