Speaker told to comment on Marinduque congressional race

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

SPEAKER Feliciano Belmonte Jr. has 10 days to comment on the petition asking the Supreme Court (SC) to compel the leader of the House of Representatives to recognize the son of Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr. as congressman of Marinduque's lone district.

Also required to comment on the petition for mandamus filed by Lord Allan Jay Velasco are House secretary-general Marilyn Barua-Yap and Marinduque Representative Regina Reyes, said SC spokesperson Theodore Te on Wednesday.

In his petition, Lord Allan also urged the SC to order Yap to remove the Reyes' name from the Roll of Members and stop Reyes from occupying and exercising the powers and prerogatives of a member of Congress.

Reyes won the May 2013 elections but her victory was nullified after the SC sided with the finding of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) that she is an American citizen.

This left Lord Allan, whose father inhibited from the case, as the only remaining candidate qualified for the post. He was proclaimed by the poll body in July last year.

Backed by Belmonte and allies in the administration-controlled House, Reyes refused to step down and even blasted the SC for allegedly changing 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. (Sunnex)

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