MANILA, Philippines?The son of Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes has been declared by the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) the winner in the Taguig congressional race in 2007.
In a statement, Angelito ?Jett? P. Reyes said the tribunal declared him the winner by a slim margin of 37 votes and ordered his rival, incumbent Taguig (2nd District) Rep. Henry M. Dueñas Jr., to vacate his post.
The younger Reyes said he would ?use every minute of every day left in his term to immediately put into motion his legislative agenda? even though the 14th Congress has already adjourned and would not open until after the May 10 elections.
However, House Speaker Prospero Nograles has yet to clarify whether the HRET decision was final and executory or if Dueñas has filed or would file a motion for reconsideration.
?My job is to implement [the HRET order] when there are no longer any legal impediments,? Nograles said in a text message.
In a unanimous, 37-page decision issued on Feb. 25 and penned by Supreme Court Associate Justice Renato C. Corona, the HRET credited Reyes with 26,967 votes against 26,930 for Dueñas or a measly 37 vote advantage after a review of the ballots cast in 729 contested precincts.
Reyes filed an election protest in June 4, 2007 in which he charged Dueñas with ?various electoral frauds and irregularities? in 170 precincts.
In the original count, the District Board of Canvassers chalked up 28,564 votes for Dueñas and 27,107 votes for Reyes or a margin of 1,457 votes. Another candidate, Arturo Alit, garnered 22,264 votes.
The HRET decision was signed by Supreme Court Associate Justice Presbitero J. Velasco Jr., Associate Justice Teresita J. Leonardo-de Castro, Baguio City Rep. Mauricio G. Domogan, Bohol Rep. Roberto C. Cajes, Aklan Rep. Florencio T. Miraflores, Capiz Rep. Fredenil H. Castro, Ifugao Rep. Solomon R. Chungalao and Laguna Rep. Justin Marc Sb. Chipeco.
Reyes, meanwhile, expressed confidence that the HRET decision would boost his bid for re-election in May. His father is reportedly running as a nominee of 1-Utak, a party-list group for transportation workers.
Sought for comment, Dueñas? lawyer, Sixto Brillanes, told the Inquirer that they intend to file a motion for reconsideration before the tribunal ?in 10 days? time.?
?We can elevate the case to the Supreme Court if necessary,? he said. With Miko Morelos