Marinduque lawmaker withdraws case in SC


Posted at Jul 23 2013 11:10 PM | Updated as of Jul 24 2013 07:10 AM

MANILA – After attending the State of the Nation Address on Monday, Marinduque Rep. Regina Reyes formally withdrew her petition before the Supreme Court questioning her disqualification by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC).

She said the oath of office she took before House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. bolstered her position that it is now the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) that has jurisdiction over her case.

“After the Speaker’s election, the Members of the House of Representatives of the 16th Congress of the Republic of the Philippines formally took their oath of office before the Speaker in open session,” she said in a two-page manifestation and notice of withdrawal filed by her lawyers, the Roque and Butuyan Law Offices.

“With the Petitioner’s admission and recognition in the House of Representatives, and the official opening and organization of the House of Representatives, all controversies regarding Petitioner’s qualifications and election to office are now within the jurisdiction of the HRET,” she said.

The SC earlier upheld a Commission on Elections decision disqualifying Reyes from taking over the congressional post because of her citizenship.

Reyes later claimed Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco had influenced the decision on behalf of his son Lord Allan Velasco. The latter was her rival to the post.

Justice Velasco denied the allegations. He inhibited in the SC's ruling.