THE SUPREME Court (SC) ruled with finality on Tuesday the disqualification case of Rep. Regina Ongsiako-Reyes of Marinduque in the last May 2013 polls on account of her being an American citizen.
During the SC en banc session, the justices ruled to junk the second motion for reconsideration filed by Reyes.
“The decision is now final,” said SC spokesman Theodore Te during the press briefing.
The SC stood pat in its ruling that there was no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the Commission on Elections in disqualifying Reyes.
SC Justice Presbitero Velasco had excused himself from the case since his son, incumbent Rep. Lord Allan Velasco of Marinduque, was Reyes’ rival in the May 2013 polls.
On May 14, the Comelec disqualified with finality Reyes from the race due to her being an American citizen.
With the SC’s verdict, Reyes’ victory over Velasco is now voided following the provision of Republic Act 6646, which states: “Any candidate who has been declared by final judgment to be disqualified shall not be voted for, and the votes cast for him shall not be counted.”
Comelec junked Reyes’ defense that she is a dual citizen of the Philippines and of the US because of her previous marriage to Saturnino Ador Dionisio, an American.
The poll body pointed out that Reyes is a US citizen and relied on the certificate issued by the Bureau of Immigration detailing Reyes’ use of a US passport.
House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte said the house is not recognizing the SC decision in ousting Reyes as its member.
Earlier, Belmonte opined that it is the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal that has jurisdiction over the qualifications of Reyes and not the High Court.