Delgado-Ty becomes shortest-serving solon in 16th Congress
LIBERAL Party member and former Tandag City mayor Elizabeth Delgado-Ty on Monday took oath as Surigao del Sur representative with only a month to serve before the 16th Congress ends on June 30.
Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. administered the oath of Delgado-Ty, who was proclaimed the rightful representative after Philip Pichay was unseated by the Supreme Court.
In a privilege speech, Delgado-Ty expressed gratitude to the Supreme Court for siding on her cause against Pichay.
“For someone like me who bore the brunt of our democracy’s birth pangs, this reminds you, to every member of Congress belongs the immense opportunity to go beyond self and family and affect real lives through the law,” Delgado-Ty said.
“After all, in me the law has come full circle. I used the law to get here today,” she added.
The case stemmed from the disqualification sought by Delgado-Ty who argued that Pichay was ineligible to run in the 2013 elections because the latter was convicted of libel, which involved moral turpitude.
Delgado cited Section 12 of the Omnibus Election Code, which stated: “Any person who has been declared by competent authority insane or incompetent, or has been sentenced by final judgment for subversion, insurrection, rebellion or for any offense for which he has been sentenced to a penalty of more than 18 months or for a crime involving moral turpitude, shall be disqualified from being a candidate and holding any office, unless he has been given plenary pardon or granted amnesty.”
Delgado-Ty said Pichay paid the fine last Feb. 17, 2011, which means he was still barred from running in 2013 because the five-year period barring him as a candidate had not yet lapsed.
The Supreme Court reversed the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal decision which favored Pichay. The tribunal said Pichay had no hand in the libelous publication.
The Supreme Court countered Pichay’s defense that libel does not constitute moral turpitude, and said that moral turpitude is defined as “everything which is done contrary to justice, modesty or good morals; an act of baseness, vileness or depravity in the private and social duties which a man owes to his fellowmen, or to society in general.”
Pichay was president of Carlo Publishing House Inc., a publisher of a local tabloid, when he sued for and convicted of libel.
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