Napoles daughter’s chance at party-list seat getting dimBy Christian V. Esguerra
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The daughter of Janet Lim-Napoles, the alleged brains behind the P10-billion pork barrel scam, could end up losing her nomination in the OFW Family Club (OFWFC), a party-list group locked in controversy involving filling its second seat in the House of Representatives.
OFWFC Rep. Roy Señeres Sr. on Friday offered to drop Jo Christine Napoles as the party’s third nominee in the event that the estranged second nominee, Rep. Johnny Revilla, presented proof that he had renounced his American citizenship.
Another OFWFC member questioned earlier Revilla’s legitimacy in the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET), charging that he was still an American citizen.
Attached to the complaint brought by Eduardo Morales were copies of Revilla’s travel information and his US “passport,” described as “ostensible proof that the respondent never relinquished his foreign citizenship.”
“All he has to do is give me a copy of his renunciation and I myself will make a manifestation to the HRET to consider the matter closed and finally declare him qualified to sit as representative of the OFWFC,” Señeres told the INQUIRER.
“And then, I will ask my children—Roy Jr., Hannah and Hazel—that the nomination of their common friend Christine Napoles will have to be recalled,” Señeres said.
Roy Señeres Jr. was the group’s original third nominee based on the certificates of candidacy (COCs) filed in the Commission on Elections (Comelec). But the group opted to remove him following the controversy over Revilla’s citizenship. The party won two seats in the House in the May 13 elections.
The elder Señeres said the OFWFC did not want to make it appear that Revilla was being removed unjustly to pave the way for a father-and-son team for the group in the 16th Congress.
“Far from it,” he said. “I have no personal animosity with Johnny. I can work harmoniously with him. It’s just that there is a problem with his citizenship and I, as a lawyer, cannot just turn a blind eye on the issue.”
Revilla earlier insisted that he had renounced his US citizenship before he filed his COC but did not elaborate.
Dribbling the case
Señeres said he had been asking Revilla for his renunciation documents since learning about the citizenship controversy in the thick of the campaign.
He said he reminded Revilla about it in a June 10 letter, but Revilla “did not even bother to reply.”
If it is true that Revilla is no longer a US citizen, Señeres said, “I cannot surmise why Johnny is keeping the document of his renunciation from me.”
“I don’t believe that he has renounced it,” he said. “It is obvious he wants to dribble the case before it is decided by the HRET. In the meantime, he sits as congressman.”