1. Atty. Ferdie Topacio is no “good friend” of mine. He has ceased to be a friend ever since he started bashing me online years ago, for reasons known only to himself.
2. I have never asked Atty. Ferdie Topacio for any legal opinion in my entire life. Why should I ask him to study the question of whether I can still run again for Senator in 2019 when he is not my friend, I don’t trust him, I don’t value his legal opinion at all, and I have access to the best legal minds in the country as far as election laws are concerned?
3. Instead of asking Atty. Ferdie Topacio for his legal opinion, I can simply study the matter myself and get a better answer.
4. A reading of the Topacio Petition reveals the shallowness of his arguments. The two cases he is citing (1) Aratea v. Comelec, GR No. 195229, Oct. 2012, and (2) Latasa v. Comelec, GR No. 167591, May 2007, are even inapplicable to my situation. In the Aratea Case, the candidate really served three consecutive terms and was even disqualified by a final judgment in a criminal case. In the Latasa Case, the three-term municipal mayor ran again for a fourth term when the municipality became a city.
5. What Atty. Ferdie Topacio is raising is supposed to be a legal question, yet he is doing the media rounds. This proves that Atty. Ferdie Topacio knows that his case is weak, hence he will instead do maximum political damage to my candidacy. There is an old joke in legal circles about techniques of lawyers which goes like this: “When the facts are in your favor, pound on the facts. When the law is in your favor, pound on the law. When nothing is in your favor, pound on the table!” Atty. Ferdie Topacio’s doing the media rounds is simply pounding on the table!
6. The mere fact that Atty. Ferdie Topacio has to lie in connection with this matter, and lie in public, shows that he knows the shallowness of his arguments.
7. My lawyers are ready to answer the Petition of Atty. Ferdie Topacio and ask for its summary dismissal as the Constitution and the Law, Jurisprudence (Abundo v. Comelec, GR No. 201716, January 8, 2013), and the basic concept of Fairness all support our position that I can run again for Senator in the May 2019 elections.
SALAMAT PO. Statementbtaken from Koko Pimentels facebook page. Photo: Wikipedia