MEMBERS of the Kabayan Party-list challenged the eligibility of three nominees presented by Rep. Ron Salo as candidates for the post vacated by Harry Roque, who was appointed Palace spokesman by President Rodrigo Duterte.
In a statement, Roque and other members of Kabayan discredited Ciriaco Calalang, the third nominee of the group, as well as Paul Hernandez and Joshua Sebastian.
“Mr. Sebastian was impeached and expelled during the Special Party Congress of 11 February 2017; Mr. Calalang and Mr. Hernandez were never members of the Party-List, as they did not undergo the process of nomination and acceptance as members under its Constitution and By-Laws,” a resolution approved and adopted by the party read.
“Moreover, their nominations are invalid, these having come from the fake Board of Trustees established without warrant by the Party Congress, and as their nominations have not been affirmed and ratified by the Party Congress,” it added.
Roque said Calalang is a “disgrace” to the party, calling him Salo’s “lackey.”
“Ron Salo is so eager for me to assume my post as spokesperson so that he can have his lackey take over my post. [What Salo] is not saying is that Calalang was suspended by the Supreme Court from practicing law for two years in 2014 and he was permanently disqualified from being a notary public because of his fraudulent activities,” he said.
Roque also mocked Calalang, saying that he has the power to “raise people from the dead,” citing a case filed against Calalang in 2010 when he allegedly made it appear that the sellers of a parcel of land had appeared before him in 1993 although they had long been dead.
Salo downplayed Roque’s claim, saying that since he has accepted the cabinet position, Roque has forfeited his seat in Congress.
“It is now the mere ministerial duty of the leadership of the House to, by operation of law, let Atty. Ciriaco Calalang serve the unexpired term as Third Nominee of the Kabayan Partylist in the 2016 elections and assume the now vacant seat of Roque, which the Presidential Spokesperson acquired when he was still with the Kabayan party-list,” he said in a statement.