Tuesday, January 26, 2016

SC decision installing Rep. Velasco is immediately executory — former Chief Justice tells Belmonte

January 25, 2016

Former Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban said yesterday the decision of the Supreme Court (SC) on the case of Rep. Lord Allan Jay Q. Velasco “should be followed immediately by House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. because by its terms it is ‘immediately executory.’”

Panganiban, who was chief justice from 2005 to 2007, said “the SC precisely took into account the few remaining months of the term of the position involved which is member of the House of Representatives.”

Belmonte - Velasco

“In other words, time is of the essence,” he pointed out.

He joined two legal luminaries who said that the House leadership, particularly Belmonte, is mandated to implement the swearing in of Velasco and the inclusion of his name in the Roll of Members.

In an earlier interview, former Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) president Vicente Joyas and former University of the East law dean Amado Valdez had said that House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. should honor and implement the SC ruling granting Velasco’s plea for mandamus.

Voting 8-1 in a decision released last January 12, the SC ruled that Belmonte and House secretary general Marilyn 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 (Commission on Elections) compliance with the said ruling, now both final and executory.”

As of this writing, Regina Ongsiako Reyes who had been disqualified as a candidate in a final ruling by the Comelec and which ruling had been upheld by the SC in a final decision, is still listed in No. 225 as the member of House of Representatives representing the lone district of Marinduque.

Former SC Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban

 MANDATORY

“Precisely, too, the SC wanted the judgment to be immediately executory which partakes the nature of a mandatory injunction which is also immediately executory,” Panganiban said.

“While the fallo of the decision may not be final yet, the mandatory injunction contained in the decision is immediately executory even prior to the finality of the decision. In the same manner, a preliminary injunction is immediately executory even without a final judgment yet,” he stressed.

Panganiban noted that the case filed by Velasco before the SC was for mandamus against Belmonte and Barua-Yap. “Thus, when the SC ruled in favor of Velasco with the issuance of a mandatory injunction, the House leadership has no choice but to implement the ruling.”

“On the reverse, a temporary restraining order or a status quo ante order is immediately executory so as not to render the case moot and academic,” he added.

The final decision of the SC is part of the law of the land under Article 8 of the Civil Code.

Thus, several lawyers who requested anonymity, said that Speaker Belmonte “must uphold the Rule of Law in the country.”

“The House Speaker and other House leaders are not above the law and they are bound to implement the same,” they said.

ANARCHY

“If the House of Representatives will not comply with the SC decision, the losing parties in civil cases and convicts in criminal cases can also ask that the SC’s decisions should not be executed against them and that would be the start of anarchy and breakdown of peace and order,” they added.

The SC’s January 12 ruling stated that the administration of the oath and the registration of Velasco as the duly-elected congressman for Marinduque “are no longer a matter of discretion or judgment” on the part of House Speaker Belmonte.

The dispositive portion of the decision stated:

“WHEREFORE, the Petition for Mandamus is GRANTED. Public respondent Hon. Feliciano R. Belmonte, Jr., Speaker, House of Representatives, shall administer the oath of office of petitioner Lord Allan Jay Q. Velasco as the duly-elected Representative of the Lone District of the Province of Marinduque. And public respondent Hon. Marilyn B. Barua-Yap, Secretary General, House of Representatives, shall register the name of petitioner Lord Allan Jay Q. Velasco in the Roll of Members of the House of Representatives after he has taken his oath of office. This Decision shall be IMMEDIATELY EXECUTORY.”

Thus, the SC said “it is well past the time for everyone concerned to accept what has been adjudicated and take judicial notice of the fact that Regina Ongsiako Reyes’ ineligibility to run for and be elected to the subject position had already been long affirmed by this Court.”


“Any ruling deviating from such established ruling will be contrary to the Rule of Law and should not be countenanced,” the SC warned. - Rey G. Panaligan, Manila Bulletin

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