The Supreme Court has directed the leadership of the House of Representatives to pave the way for the assumption of National Unity Party (NUP) congressman Lord Allan Jay Velasco as the “rightful representative” of the lone district of Marinduque.
The high tribunal directed Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. to administer the oath of office to Velasco and register him in the Roll of Members of the House after it reaffirmed the decision of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), which canceled the certificate of candidacy of Regina Ongsiako Reyes as lone representative of Marinduque in the 2013 elections.
House Secretary General Marilyn Barua Yap was likewise ordered by the high court to register the name of Velasco as a member of the Congress.
In its ruling, the SC said that “there is no longer any issue as to who is the rightful representative of the lone district of Marinduque” when it affirmed the Comelec decision, which “correctly cancelled Reyes’ certificate of candidacy (COC) for member of the House of Representatives on the ground that she was ineligible for the subject position due to her failure to prove her Filipino citizenship and the requisite one-year residency in the province of Marinduque.”
The SC ruling penned by Associate Justice Teresita de Castro is immediately executory and “no longer a matter of discretion or judgment” on the part of the Speaker.
“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 said.