Fariñas, allies challenge before SC validity of Suarez minority leadership
Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas and his allies at the House of Representatives (HOR) challenged before the Supreme Court the validity of the minority leadership of Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez.
In a 44-page “petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus” filed on Aug. 30 but made public Wednesday, the lawmakers also asked the High Court to issue a restraining order against Suarez.
They urged the High Court to require Suarez “to cease and desist from performing the duties and functions of the minority leader.”
Petitioners also asked the Court to require House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) and Majority Leader Ronaldo G. Andaya Jr. to instead recognize ABS Partylist Rep. Eugene De Vera as the minority leader.
Fariñas maintained that De Vera should be recognized as the minority leader after most of Suarez’ bloc “abandoned” the minority by voting for Arroyo during the leadership change at the lower chamber on July 23. Suarez himself voted for Arroyo as Speaker.
House Rule II Section 8 states that “members who voted for the winning candidate for Speaker shall constitute the Majority in the House and they shall elect from among themselves the Majority Leader.”
According to the petition, Arroyo and Andaya committed “grave abuse of discretion” for continuing to recognize Suarez as the incumbent minority leader.
“In recognizing, and continuing to recognize, Respondent Suarez as the Minority Leader in the HOR, and refusing to recognize Petitioner De Vera as such Minority Leader, Respondents GMA and Andaya have committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction by unlawfully excluding, and continuing to unlawfully exclude, Petitioner De Vera from the full exercise of his mandate and those of his co-Petitioners as the duly constituted Minority,” read the petition.
Named respondents were Suarez, Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and Majority Leader Rolando Andaya.
Aside from Fariñas, De Vera, the other petitioners are Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, Isabela Rep. Rodolfo Albano III, Pampanga Rep. Juan Pablo Bondoc, Makati City Rep. Manuel Del Rosario, Compostela Valley Rep. Ruwel Peter Gonzaga, Southern Leyte Rep. Roger Mercado, Lanao del Sur Rep. Mauyag Papandayan Jr., Leyte Rep. Lucy Gomez, LPGMA Partylist Rep. Arnel Ty, and Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali. /muf
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