High Court unseats Marinduque lawmaker


THE Supreme Court has affirmed the move of the Commission on Election (Comelec) to unseat Rep.-elect Regina Ongsiako Reyes of Marinduque because she is an American.

During the Court en banc’s on Tuesday session, it ruled to dismiss the petition for certiorari filed by Reyes who sought to stop the disqualification imposed on her by the poll body for lack of merit.

With a vote of 7-4-3, the majority of the magistrates led by Associate Justice Jose Perez ruled that there was no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the Comelec.

Joining Perez are Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Aranal-Sereno, Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, Mariano del Castillo, Lucas Bersamin, Roberto Abad and Bienvenido Reyes.

Four of the justices who dissented in the ruling were Magistrates Antonio Carpio, Arturo Brion, Marvic Mario Victor Leonen and Martin Villarama.

The dissenters believe that the petition of Reyes must not be junked, but instead order the respondent Comelec to file its comment.

Three inhibited from the case—Justices Jose Catral Mendoza, Estela Perlas-Bernabe and Pres-bitero Velasco. Justice Dios-dado Peralta is abroad.

Velasco recused himself from the case since his son, incumbent Rep. Lord Allan Velasco of Marinduque, is the opponent of Reyes in the May 2013 polls.

In May 2013, Comelec ruled with finality that Reyes is disqualified because she is an American citizen.

In a four-page resolution of the Comelec en banc promulgated on May 14, it junked the motion for reconsideration filed by Reyes.

Voting five against one, with one abstention, it affirmed with finality the Comelec 1st Divi-sion’s 27 March 2013 Resolution canceling Reyes’ Certificate of Candidacy for the position of Congresswoman of the Lone Legislative District of Marinduque.

Only Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes dissented in the ruling while Commissioner Luie Guia took no part in the deliberation and abstained from the case.

With the said ruling, it effectively voids the victory of Reyes against incumbent Marinduque Rep. Velasco under 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.”


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  1. michael recana on

    money, money ,money. . . . . . . . . . the people already knew she’s disqualified but still voted for her because of money. . . . . . .send her back to the U.S. of A.

  2. Can she appeal her case by seeking dual citizenship? If not, deport her right away for breaking the law.

    • susie s. muhi on

      since the SC high tribunal na ang nagbigay ng verdict , palagay ko with finality na yun, kasi ang court of appeals under lang ng SC. executory na yun na dapat sundin. ewan nga lang mga abogado naman ang naglalaban diyan.

    • sonny cabrales on

      she is already a dual citizen. Only problem is she did not renounce her American citizenship by the time she filed her certificate of candidacy. We have an identical situation in our town in Samar, yet the American-citizen candidate who was proclaimed as mayor-elect is still bent on taking his oath of office on June 30, despite a Writ of Execution having been issued by the Comelec.