Roque asks Alvarez to defer proclamation of his replacement in the House
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque has formally asked House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez to defer the proclamation of his replacement as representative of Kabayan Party-list while the Commission on Elections (Comelec) resolves the group’s infighting.
In a two-page letter dated Nov. 9 and released by the faction allied with Roque, the erstwhile legislator cited the pending intra-corporate case he filed against Kabayan Rep. Ron Salo, who occupies the group’s second seat.
“I respectfully ask your good office to defer proclaiming and swearing into office my replacement until the Commission on Elections has ruled on our intra-corporate proceeding,” Roque pleaded.
Salo had proclaimed lawyer Ciriaco Calalang to be the party-list group’s legitimate third nominee, putting him next in the line of succession after Roque vacates the seat he left for the Palace.
Calalang was included in the list of nominees submitted to Comelec before the 2016 elections.
But, the “original” Comelec-registered voting members of the party-list claimed the actions of Salo’s group – including the submission of the nominees that listed Roque, Salo and Calalang’s names – were void for being issued by a so-called board of trustees.
Although Salo claimed the board of trustees was the legitimate governing body of the party-list group under a purported 2015 amendment to the 2017 constitution, Roque’s camp said the Comelec certified that the bylaws were never changed and that the decisions of the so-called party congress should prevail.
The said party congress, held on Oct. 28, decided on a new list of nominees listing the names of Roque’s chief of staff and human rights lawyers Romel Bagares as first nominee, as well as Vicente Malvar Jr., Rogel Navarro Jr., Eduardo Bayona, and Rebecca Desiree Lozada as the second to fifth nominees.
If this list prevails, Bagares may be Roque’s replacement instead of Calalang. /atm