Solon kicked out of plenary hall despite winning poll protest
Rep. Harlin Abayon on Monday was kicked out of the session hall after the House of Representatives leadership failed to recognize his electoral victory as duly elected Northern Samar congressman.
Deputy Speaker Giorgidi Aggabao said Abayon should leave the session hall otherwise he would be bodily carried out.
A sour-looking Abayon was escorted by the House sergeant-at-arms around 6 p.m.
He was prevented to take up his concern during the session hall before he was escorted outside.
The lower House refused to recognize the decision by the Supreme Court (SC) which on May 4 ruled that Abayon is the duly elected representative of Northern Samar’s first legislative district.
READ: SC: Abayon is Northern Samar 1st district’s rep
In its ruling, the high court reversed and set aside the Feb. 3 and March 7, 2016 resolutions of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal’s (HRET) which nullified Abayon’s victory in the May 2013 polls.
The case stemmed from the electoral protest filed by former House Deputy Speaker Raul Daza questioning Abayon’s 2013 victory and accusing him of cheating during the canvassing of votes.
Daza lost to Abayon by 52 votes.
In an interview outside the plenary hall, Abayon said this was the first time a congressman was kicked out because the leadership failed to recognize the SC decision on an electoral protest.
“I think this is a foul play. This is the first time a lawful member of the House was ousted by the sergeant at arms upon orders of the Speaker of the House, although I am the lawfully elected representative of the 1st legislative district of Northern Samar,” Abayon said.
He said he would file an appeal before the Supreme Court “because the decision of the Supreme Court was never respected.”
Abayon said while Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. failed to recognize the SC decision because he has yet to receive a copy of the decision, the speaker immediately administered the oath of Daza after the HRET nullified Abayon’s victory in the 2013 elections.
Daza is a member of the ruling Liberal Party, while Abayon is a member of the Nacionalista Party.
Abayon said Belmonte even administered the oath for Daza even though Abayon filed a petition for certiorari before the Supreme Court when the HRET annulled Abayon’s victory in 2013.
“I am not a member of the Liberal Party. My opponent is a member of the Liberal Party. When the HRET decided against me… they immediately allowed my opponent to assume office and take his oath notwithstanding my certiorari case before the Supreme Court,” Abayon said.
Abayon said contrary to the claim of Belmonte, the Speaker of the House received a copy of the Supreme Court decision on May 30 around noon time.
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