Velasco sworn in as Marinduque representative
LORD Allan Jay Q. Velasco has been sworn in as Representative of Marinduque after the Supreme Court denied the appeal filed by Speaker Feliciano Belmonte.
Belmonte initially refused to sworn in Velasco saying the high court’s ruling is not yet final and executory.
Velasco was sworn into office follow the disqualification of Rep. Regina Ongsiako due to questions on her citizenship.
Last month, the high court with an 8-1 vote told Congress to administer the oath and the registration of Velasco as the duly-elected congressman for Marinduque.
The high court’s ruling came after Velasco filed a petition for mandamus against Belmonte, House Secretary General Marilyn Barua-Yap, and Reginal Ongsiako Reyes, his rival who had been disqualified as a congressional candidate by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in the 2013 election.
Belmonte and Barua-Yap “are legally duty-bound to recognize Velasco as the duly elected Member of the House of Representatives for the Lone District of Marinduque in view of the ruling rendered by this Court and the Comelec’s compliance with the said ruling, now both final and executory,” the high court said in a decision written by Associate Justice Teresita J. Leonardo de Castro.
Ruling favorably on Velasco’s petition, the SC said that “there is no longer any issue as to who is the rightful representative of the lone district of Marinduque” with the finality of its decision which affirmed the ruling of the Comelec that “correctly cancelled Reyes’ certificate of candidacy (COC) for member of the House of Representatives on the ground that she was ineligible for the subject position due to her failure to prove her Filipino citizenship and the requisite one-year residency in the province of Marinduque.”
It pointed out that “by virtue of Comelec en banc resolution dated May 14, 2013 in SPA No. 13-053; certificate of finality dated June 5, 2013 in SPA No. 13-053; Comelec en banc resolution dated June 19, 2013 in SPC N. 13-010; Comelec en banc resolution dated July 10, 2013 in SPA No. 13-053; and Velasco’s certificate of proclamation dated July 16, 2013, Velasco is the rightful representative of the lone district of the province of Marinduque; hence, entitled to a writ of Mandamus,” the SC ruled.
“Any ruling deviating from such established ruling will be contrary to the Rule of Law and should not be countenanced,” the SC warned.
At the House of Representatives Monday, Belmonte facilitated the oath-taking during session of a smiling Velasco, who would only have until June 30 as congressman before another Congress takes place.
Majority leader Neptali Gonzales II said the House has received information from the Supreme Court its entry of judgement that “the representative from Marinduque, the honorable Reyes, has never become a member of the House of Representatives, and consequently, her name has been deleted in the roll of members.”
“Likewise, we are in receipt from the Commission on Elections stating that proclamation of the elected representative of lone district of Marinduque as Lord Allan Velasco, and he has complied with the requirement of the House by furnishing the Office of the Secretary General with his oath of office and the certificate of proclamation from the Comelec,” Gonzales added.
Velasco was accompanied by his mother, Ang Mata’s Alagaan Rep. Lorna Velasco, in his oath-taking. He is the son of Supreme Court Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr.
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