MANILA, Philippines?Celestino Martinez III, recently declared the rightful winner of the congressional seat for the 4th district of Cebu, cried foul Wednesday over Speaker Prospero Nograles? refusal to swear him into office.
Martinez, a Liberal Party member, told reporters that Nograles had initially promised to schedule his oath taking on Monday but suddenly changed his tune.
Declared the winner over Benhur Salimbangon, a member of the administration?s Lakas Kampi party, Martinez said he was informed that Nograles had a stomach flu on Monday and was not around on Tuesday.
Nograles Wednesday explained that he decided not to implement the Supreme Court ruling because the Office of the Solicitor General has a pending motion for reconsideration of the case.
?It is our legal position that we should wait for the Supreme Court to act on the OSG?s motion before taking any action on this matter,? Nograles said in a text message.
He also said he had no problem implementing the high court?s ruling but he wanted the legal obstacles cleared first.
Martinez suspects deliberate delaying tactics. He said the OSG at the start of the case had said it would waive its right to participate, saying both parties were equipped to argue the case.
He said he was surprised to hear that the OSG informed Nograles that it was filing a motion with the Supreme Court with regard to the case.
Martinez still hopes his oath will be administered this week.
Congress is set to adjourn next week for the official start of the campaign period for the May 10 polls.
?This case has been pending for almost two years. People have been waiting, my supporters have been waiting,? he said.
According to Martinez, he actually took his oath in Nograles? office last week, although this was not valid because he has to be sworn in at the plenary. The informal oath taking was made for the sake of his family, who had flown to Manila.
Martinez is running for Cebu representative again in the 2010 polls.