MANILA, May 13 — Election lawyer Romulo Macalanital today said the candidate who landed in 13th place in the senatorial race in the May 2016 election cannot assume the seat that will be left vacant by the exit of Senator Alan Peter Cayetano.
Macalintal said the 13th placer — independent candidate Francis Tolentino — did not win the polls since only 12 senators were declared winners.
“The 13th placer cannot assume the vacant post because the 13th placer did not win last May,” he said. “Only 12 won. The 13th placer was also a loser.”
Macalintal also noted there is no succession rule for the Senate and the House of Representatives.
The succession issue surfaced after Cayetano was appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte to head the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
Once the senator assumes his new post, there will be a vacant seat in the Senate.
Under the law, the replacement will only be determined through the conduct of a special poll.
Macalintal said the special poll should be held simultaneously with the next national polls in 2019 “as provided under Sec. 4 of RA 7166 or the synchronized election law.” (Ferdinand G. Patinio/PNA)