Leyte Representative Lucy Torres-Gomez and her lawyer assure media that the lady lawmaker cannot be replaced as of yet as they will file a motion for reconsideration before the Supreme Court which removed her from the congressional seat due to residency issues. The press conference was held March 19, 2013 at a coffee shop in Greenhills, San Juan City, shortly after the high court ruling was released. RYAN LEAGOGO/INQUIRER.net
MANILA, Philippines—Ousted Leyte Representative Lucy Torres-Gomez is not worried and will continue to work as legislator from the fourth district of the province despite the Supreme Court ruling removing her from the congressional seat.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday at a press conference hours after the ruling came out, she said that she was confident that she had “the mandate of the people.”
Torres said she had a “lead of over 26,000 votes” over her opponents Eufrocino Codilla Jr and Silverio Tagolino.
Codilla had earlier filed a case to disqualify her husband, actor Richard Gomez, for not having been an Ormoc City resident long enough to run for Congress. Gomez was the original candidate.
Torres was able to replace Gomez, through Comelec Resolution 8890 and she won in the 2010 elections as representative of the fourth district of Leyte.
Her lawyer Alex Avisado said that they saw the ruling as “a very expensive and tedious” issue and explained that they were prepared to file a motion for reconsideration.
Backed by Comelec resolution
He said that Torres’ position was backed by Comelec Resolution 8890, which indicated that her winning in the fourth district of Leyte was valid.
He said that it was Tagolino who sought to unseat Torres by questioning the validity of her taking over Gomez’s bid for the congressional post.
But Avisado said that these “issues have long been settled… this is just a temporary setback, the good Congresswoman will continue with her duties.”
He said that they also expected the Solicitor General to file a motion for reconsideration.
“I was surprised… (but) I won fair and square. My opponents have done this before. I know I have done my part and I know that I enjoy the people’s overwhelming support,” said Torres.
Politics a devils’ game
Torres recalled the mayor of Ormoc City telling her that politics was the “game of the devils” and said that she was bent on continuing her political career so long as she was not the one considered to be the devil.
She said that at the end of the day, it would be the people of Ormoc City who would determine if her winning the congressional seat was valid or not.
Torres said that she had many opponents in Ormoc City, referring to the Codillas, a political clan.
Avisado pointed out that if it was not a Codilla who was trying to unseat his client, then it was a “proxy.”
“This is a proxy war,” he said.
Avisado said that they wanted a “definitive ruling from the Supreme Court” and pointed out that Torres could not be replaced by Tagolino who was “the last placer in the 2010 elections.”
“He cannot unseat or replace her. This is just an exercise in futility,” he said.
“There will be no turnover. He does not have the mandate of the people and they are just serving her a fresh term (if this decision pushes through). She would be a beneficiary,” he added.
The Gomez couple are running in the midterm elections, Torres for another term as lawmaker in Leyte and Gomez for mayor.