At least 11 lawmakers may be booted out of the House of Representatives for switching political affiliations, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said on Thursday.
This cropped up after Harry Roque, counsel of Marinduque Rep. Regina Reyes, pointed out that Gabriela Rep. Luz Ilagan is deemed resigned from Congress because she will be running under the Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod political party led by Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
Roque cited Section 15 of the party-list law that states that a party-list representative forfeits his or her seat once he or she switches affiliation during his or she switches affiliation during his or her congressional tenure.
“I think he’s right. We are checking with the Comelec [Commission on Elections] and getting copies of their COC [certificates of candidacy]Yes, we’ll implement the law after verification,” Belmonte said.
Aside from Ilagan, the other lawmakers who may soon have to leave the House are Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Neri Javier Colmenares, who is running for senator under the Makabayan party; OFW Family party-list Rep. Roy Señeres, who is aiming for the presidency under Manggagawa at Magsasaka Party; ABS-party-list Rep. Catalina Leonen-Pizarro, who is running for mayor of Sudipen in La Union under the National Unity Party (NUP); and Coop-Natco party-list Rep. Cresente Paez, who is seeking a
Senate seat as an independent candidate.
The others include Agap party-list Rep. Nicanor Briones, who is running for governor of Batangas province under AGAP PMB party; Buhay party-list Rep. Irwin Tieng, who is running for councilor of Manila under the United Nationalist Alliance; ABONO party-list Rep. Franciso Emmanuel Ortega, who is aiming to be the next governor of La Union as an independent; ACT-CIS party-list Rep. Samuel Pagdilao, a candidate for senator; 1CARE party-list Rep. Michael Rivera, who is running for mayor of Padre Garcia in Batangas under the ruling Liberal Party; and OFW Family party-list Rep. Johnny Revilla, who wants to be a councilor of Quezon City.
But even before Belmonte issued his statement, House Minority Leader Ronaldo Zamora removed Ilagan as the representative of the minority bloc in the House of Repreentatives Electoral Tribunal and named Gabriela Rep. Emmi de Jesus as her replacement.
Zamora made the motion before the plenary session on Wednesday afternoon, and it was adopted by the plenary with Deputy Speaker Robbie Puno of Antipolo City as presiding officer.