Latest Stories

SC justice says Reyes raps ‘baseless, malicious’


Supreme Court Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Supreme Court Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr. on Friday denied using his influence to get the high tribunal to uphold a Commission on Elections decision to unseat the proclaimed winner of the Marinduque congressional race, Regina Ongsiako-Reyes, thereby paving the way for the proclamation of the magistrate’s son.

In a statement issued by his staff, lawyer Theresa Genevieve Co said Velasco did not participate in the Supreme Court’s deliberation of Reyes’ suit and his son, Lord Allan Jay Velasco, was not a party in the case in question.

“The allegation that he (Velasco) ‘wielded his influence’ in the case is baseless and malicious. Being a lawyer and an officer of the court, Attorney Reyes should have been circumspect in her statements,” Co said.

Reyes had filed a suit in the high court accusing the Comelec of grave abuse of discretion when it disqualified her from the race for Marinduque’s lone congressional seat.

Reyes had defeated the younger Velasco by some 4,000 votes in the May 13 elections. On May 14, however, the Comelec en banc ruled with finality that Reyes was disqualified from the congressional race for being an American citizen and for lacking the one year residency requirement for candidates.

Despite the Comelec decision, the provincial board of canvassers proclaimed Reyes the winner of the congressional race on May 18.


HRET jurisdiction

Reyes did not immediately bring her case to the Supreme Court, saying that since she had already been proclaimed, the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET), in accordance with the Constitution, had acquired jurisdiction over her disqualification case.

When the Comelec insisted on its jurisdiction, Reyes filed a case in the Supreme Court accusing the poll body of grave abuse of discretion.

However, on June 18, the Supreme Court dismissed the case, saying Comelec had jurisdiction over the case because Reyes then had not yet begun her term.

Supreme Court Justice Arturo Brion had dissented with the majority decision, saying the court infringed on the jurisdiction of the HRET and that the outright dismissal of the case without hearing indirectly benefited Justice Velasco’s son.


Citizenship documents

On Thursday, following the Supreme Court decision, the Comelec nullified Reyes’ victory and ordered the provincial board of canvassers to proclaim the younger Velasco as winner of the congressional race.

Reyes, however, insisted that she remained the legally elected representative and called for a press conference. She held up documents showing she had reacquired her Filipino citizenship.

Early in the campaign, critics accused Reyes of lying about her foreign residency status as well as her age and marital status in her certificate of candidacy.

Reyes is the daughter of Marinduque Gov. Carmencita Reyes.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: 2013 elections , Comelec , lord allan jay velasco , Marinduque , Marinduque Gov. Carmencita Reyes , Philippine politics , Politics , Presbitero Velasco Jr. , Regina Ongsiako Reyes , Supreme Court Associate Justice

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. US teacher fired over comment on black president
  2. Filipinos, Dane re-enact crucifixion of Christ
  3. Magnitude-7.5 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
  4. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  5. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  6. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  7. Massive infra spending set
  8. Easter crucifixions draw huge crowds
  9. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  10. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  7. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  8. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  9. Massive infra spending set
  10. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  5. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  6. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  7. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  8. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  9. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia


  • Korea ferry captain defends actions, bodies seen in ship
  • Traffic starts to build up at toll plazas on Black Saturday
  • Flash floods hit 9 Tagum villages
  • No tsunami to hit PH after 6.9 quake jolts Solomon Islands–Phivolcs
  • Search resumes for bodies in Everest avalanche
  • Sports

  • Hamilton takes pole at Chinese Grand Prix
  • Duke’s Rodney Hood joining Jabari Parker in NBA draft
  • Phelps entered in 3 events at comeback meet
  • Boston prepares for huge wave of marathon visitors
  • Motivated LeBron James preps for postseason
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • Myx TV premieres Asian American ‘docu-series’
  • A nutty finale for ‘Scandal,’ TV’s craziest show
  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Business

  • Fiat-Chrysler to produce iconic Jeep in China from 2015
  • US commerce secretary spells out economic facet of ‘pivot to Asia’
  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • We treasure our Sierra Madre
  • OFW from UAE tests negative for MERS-Cov–health chief
  • Multicultural flock marks Good Friday in San Francisco
  • Las Vegas ‘Pinoy Pride’ fest hails Filipino heritage
  • Marking Jesus’ journey on Good Friday
  • Marketplace