Wednesday, January 13, 2016

SC votes 8-1-6 on writ ordering House Speaker to administer oath of Rep. Lord Allan Velasco

Those who voted in favor of Velasco’s petition were Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno and Justices Antonio Carpio, Teresita Leonardo-De Castro, Lucas Bersamin, Martin Villarama Jr., Jose Perez, Bienvenido Reyes 
and Marvic Leonen. 
Justice Arturo Brion was the lone dissenter.

Supreme Court orders justice’s son installed as Marinduque congressman



Voting 8-1-6, the Supreme Court en banc issued a writ of mandamus ordering House Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” R. Belmonte, Jr. to “administer the oath” of Lord Allan Jay Q. Velasco as representative.

Likewise, House Secretary-General Marilyn B. Barua-Yap was ordered to register Mr. Velasco’s name in the Roll of Members after he has taken his oath.

Only nine justices tackled the case; one of them, Associate Justice Arturo D. Brion, dissented.

The elder Mr. Velasco inhibited from his son’s case, as did Associate Justices Diosdado M. Peralta, Mariano C. del Castillo, Jose Catral Mendoza, Estela M. Perlas-Bernabe and Francis H. Jardeleza.

The high court said these acts are ministerial duties of the House Speaker and the Secretary-General that can be compelled by mandamus. The court said Mr. Velasco is entitled to the writ because the Commission on Elections (Comelec) resolutions and a subsequent SC decision disqualifying his winning rival, Regina Ongsiako-Reyes, have all attained finality as early as 2013.

This “left no issue as to who is the rightful Representative of the Lone District of the Province of Marinduque,” according to a brief by SC.

Instead, Ms. Ongsiako-Reyes remained in her position. Even as the SC disqualified her with finality in December 2013, the House of Representatives did not abide by the ruling as it believed the Comelec no longer had jurisdiction over a proclaimed winner at that point.


With the SC now ordering him to install Mr. Velasco as representative, Mr. Belmonte said in a text message to reporters: “Once [the] decision is final, I will enforce it.” - BusinessWorld

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