We’ve done our part, Comelec says of Marinduque proclamation
Commission on Elections Chairman (Comelec) Sixto Brillantes Jr. defended Thursday the agency’s decision to proclaim the reelectionist son of a Supreme Court justice the winner of the Marinduque congressional race.
Brillantes said it was the Comelec and not the House of Representatives that had jurisdiction over matters concerning a candidate’s certificate of candidacy (COC).
The Comelec on Tuesday proclaimed Lord Allan Jay Velasco, son of Supreme Court Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco, the representative of the lone district of Marinduque after it disqualified Regina Ongsiako Reyes for being an American citizen.
No jurisdiction over COC
House leaders have threatened to ignore Velasco’s proclamation since Reyes, whom the Comelec had earlier proclaimed the winner, had already taken her oath as a representative.
“They don’t want to recognize that? The House does not have jurisdiction over certificates of candidacy. They don’t have the authority to determine COCs. That is what they should see,” said Brillantes in an interview Thursday.
He explained that the Comelec had merely resolved the disqualification case against Reyes, who was accused of falsely identifying herself as a Filipino citizen in her COC.
Bringing to high court
“We have done our part. We cannot force (the House) to accept or not to accept. We proclaimed Velasco based on our decision. Whether he will be accepted or not is beyond our powers already,” Brillantes said.
He said that if Congress would not recognize Velasco, the matter may again be brought to the Supreme Court for resolution.
“If it goes up to the Supreme Court, then good. That is the correct process because all our decisions can be brought before the high court,” Brillantes said.
“If we are sustained by the Supreme Court and the House still refuses to recognize (Velasco), then let us leave them to fight each other. As for us, we have done our part,” he said.
Reyes had won the vote count, with Velasco coming in second. The Comelec, however, disqualified her on the grounds that she was a US citizen. Reyes protested her disqualification in the Supreme Court. The magistrates threw her protest back to the Comelec, which dismissed it, paving the way for Velasco to take the congressional seat. Reyes charged the elder Velasco had influenced his fellow justices into throwing the protest back to the Comelec. Justice Velasco, who did not take part in the case, has denied this.
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