A call for Congress to heed the rule of law

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A Manila Times columnist, lawyer and media practitioner Brigido Dulay, has questioned the legality of including the second nominee of party-list group An Waray on the roll of House of Representatives (HOR) members.

In a letter to Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, “Dodo” Dulay questioned the recognition of An Waray’s second nominee, Ms. Victoria Isabel Noel, as a member of the House becauise she was never issued a Certificate of Proclamation by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

”It is elementary in election law that only candidates (or in the case of party list groups, nominees) who have been officially proclaimed and issued a Certificate of Proclamation can take his or her oath and assume the office of a representative of the House,” Dulay said.

Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes has publicly admitted that the Comelec had not issued a Certificate of Proclamation to the second nominee of An Waray in compliance with the Supreme Court’s order to reserve seats due to the pending Abang Lingkod party-list case.

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“Since An Waray’s Victoria Isabel Noel had not been proclaimed by the Comelec, what legal basis was used by the House for authorizing her to sit in the 16th Congress? Worse, Noel was even Assistant Majority Leader of the House,” Dulay added.

We agree that without the necessary Certificate of Proclamation from the Comelec en banc, Ms. Noel cannot be legally recognized as a member of Congress. And we commend our columnist for asking the House leadership to uphold the rule of law.

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