Suarez shrugs off SC petition on House minority leadership row
The bid of ousted Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez’s group to elevate the minority row to the Supreme Court (SC) was well within their right, House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez said Wednesday.
“I have my lawyer to answer that, but that’s their right,” he said in a press briefing. “It’s nothing new to me.”
The group of Alvarez and former House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas had filed a petition asking the SC to intervene in the House minority leadership squabble.
They asked the SC for a temporary restraining order against Suarez to stop him from performing the duties and functions of a Minority Leader. They also asked the SC to recognize ABS Party-list Rep. Eugene Michael de Vera as the legitimate House Minority Leader.
Ako Bicol Rep. Alfredo Garbin, Jr., a member of the Suarez-led minority bloc, said the growing number of their group–now 45–is a “clear manifestation” that Suarez is the duly-recognized Minority Leader.
“This alone can dispute all the allegations in the SC,” he added.
Garbin also expressed doubts that the SC would “arrogate upon themselves the power of the plenary.”
“I think the Supreme Court will not arrogate upon themselves the power of the plenary… Malabo yata ‘yun na ang will ng plenary ay isasantabi ng Korte Suprema,” he added.
Current Majority Leader Rolando Andaya, Jr. meanwhile “recognized and respect” the right of Fariñas to seek redress from the high tribunal.
“The House leadership will continue with the business of the day under the present organizational set-up. We have a full docket of bills to be passed. We will commence plenary debates on the 2019 budget next week,” he said.
The chamber sealed Suarez’s hold on the minority leadership last August 7, in a swift vote, which was questioned by Fariñas’ group, as well as the group led by Marikina Rep. Romero Quimbo. /kga
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