Thursday, November 15, 2018
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SC urged to install Fariñas group as House minority

Former Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas and 11 allies have asked the Supreme Court to order the leadership of the House of Representatives to install their group as the new minority bloc after the tumultuous leadership change on July 23.

In a 44-page petition filed on Wednesday, the group questioned the retention of Minority Leader Danilo Suarez, and asked the court to replace him with ABS Rep. Eugene de Vera.

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“The matter of membership in the majority is determined by those who voted for the winning candidate, and Suarez and his 13 colleagues in the minority became part of the majority by voting for … Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo [against then Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez],” Fariñas’ group said.

‘That’s their right’

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Suarez shrugged off the lawsuit.

“That’s their right. I’m used to getting haled before the Supreme Court on the minority leadership issue,” Suarez told reporters.

It was the second time in a year that congressmen in the minority bloc had gone to the Supreme Court to challenge Suarez’s hold on the post.

Baguilat group petition

In July last year, the tribunal junked the petition filed by opposition lawmakers, led by Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat, saying it could not interfere in the House of Representatives.

Fariñas’ group argued that the Supreme Court could now interfere since Arroyo and Majority Leader Rolando Andaya had committed a “grave abuse of discretion” in allowing Suarez to retain his post.

Aside from Fariñas, Alvarez and De Vera, those who filed the petition were 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  Rep. Arnel Ty, and Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali.

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Andaya said that while House leaders “recognize and respect” the right of the Fariñas group to seek redress from the high court, they would “continue with the business of the day under the present setup.”

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TAGS: Danilo Suarez, Eugene de Vera, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, House Leadership, House minority, Rodolfo Fariñas, Supreme Court
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