Rep. Regina Reyes of Marinduque province won’t give up her post as a member of the House of Representatives even if she has been deemed disqualified by the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
Reyes, in a chance interview with reporters, made the stance on the day that the High Court ruled in favor of her 2013 polls rival,
former Rep. Lord Allan Velasco of Marinduque—the son of Supreme Court justice Presbitero Velasco.
“We need to respect the mandate of the Constitution providing for the independence of branches. No, I won’t vacate my position. The case [electoral protest of the younger Velasco against her]is with the HRET. This is a dangerous precedent. I will stick with the HRET’s [jurisdiction],” Reyes told reporters.
Reyes, who was calm during the entire interview, was referring to the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal which is mandated by the Constitution to solely resolve electoral protests involving House members after the proclamation of winners.
“It saddens me. I have expected it with him being a son of Justice Velasco. I have been always warned about that. But it is clear by law that the electoral protest [on lawmakers]is under the sole jurisdiction of the HRET,” Reyes argued.
Further, Reyes expressed confidence that she has the support of her colleagues and the House leadership led by Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. and that there is no need for her to contest the Supreme Court’s ruling.
“I won’t contest. I know that the Speaker supports me that the case is with the HRET. Collectively, we are defending the constitutional integrity of the House,” Reyes said.
“I am not afraid that I will be unseated. I still believe in respect,” Reyes added in closing.
Justice Velasco inhibited from the proceedings involving his son. LLANESCA T. PANTI