SC urged to install justice’s son as Marinduque congressman

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A SON of Supreme Court (SC) Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco recently urged his father's colleagues to order Speaker Feliciano Belmonte to install him as a member of the House of Representatives from Marinduque province.

The seat is currently occupied by administration ally, Regina Reyes, whose disqualification by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) was affirmed by the SC last year. This left Velasco's son, Lord Allan Jay, as the only remaining candidate qualified for the post.

The Comelec nullified Reyes' victory in the May 2013 midterm elections for being an American citizen.

Five magistrates inhibited from the case including Velasco. Lord Allan took his oath of office in July 2013 but majority of the 289-member House chose to recognize Reyes.

Reyes, a member of the ruling Liberal Party, had said the SC apparently changed jurisprudence for unseating her even after she was proclaimed.

Under the Constitution, all cases relating to the qualification of a member of Congress shall be resolved either by the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal or Senate Electoral Tribunal.

"Never before has there been an instance when the Court intruded on an exclusive power of the House, and never before has Congress rebuffed the Court in the manner that it has just done so," Reyes' lawyer Harry Roque said in his blog on December 19 last year.

Roque said the SC decision is not binding on the House because the chamber was not impleaded in the case against Reyes. (Sunnex)

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