House asked to recognize Comelec proclamation of justice’s son
Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr., vice president of the National Unity Party, urged the House of Representatives leadership to recognize newly proclaimed Rep. Lord Allan Jay Q. Velasco as the duly elected representative of the lone district of Marinduque.
On July 9, 20l3, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) en banc nullified the May l8, 20l3, proclamation of Regina
O. Reyes and proclaimed Velasco the winning candidate.
The certificate of proclamation was served to House Secretary General Marilyn Barua-Yap, who is the interim speaker, on July l8, 20l3.
Velasco wrote to Yap asking Yap to recognize him as the duly elected representative of Marinduque and remove the name of Reyes from the rolls.
Yap, however, has not acted on the letter from Velasco and the certificate from the Comelec.
In a statement, Barzaga said Section 6 Rule 2 on membership of the House continues to be in effect.
It provides that “members shall take their oath or affirmation either collectively or individually before the Speaker in open session.”
Under this rule, Barzaga said, House members must take their oath on July 22 before the Speaker, who shall have been elected by that time. Reyes took her oath of office before Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. while the House was not yet in session.
“Any oath taken before June 30 may not be considered as official,” said Barzaga in his statement.
Barzaga said the House should respect the Supreme Court decision on the election case involving Velasco and Reyes since the court “is the last bulwark of democracy.”
The high court recently ruled that the Comelec retains jurisdiction over the case, contrary to Reyes’ claim in her petition that the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal has jurisdiction over whether or not she or Velasco is the rightful representative of Marinduque.
In Marinduque, the contest between Velasco and Reyes is causing confusion among the people.
“I really don’t understand. Which of the two is now the congressman?” said 33-year-old storekeeper Shirley Olympia from Boac town.
Reyes insists she’s the elected representative of Marinduque and has been invited as member of the House to the State of the Nation Address of President Aquino on July 22. With reports from Jofel Lacion and Maricar Cinco, Inquirer Southern Luzon