Rep. Harry Roque has vowed to fight attempts to unseat him as representative of the Kabayan party-list.
Ten of the 12 members of the Board of Trustees of the group in a resolution dated January 12, 2017, removed Roque as member of Kabayan party-list and consequently, as a representative of the group at the House of Representatives. The resolution was posted in Kabayan party-list’s Facebook page on Tuesday afternoon.
The Board, in a Committee Report dated January 11, said Roque’s behavior, acts, and statements during the congressional probe on the proliferation of drug trade in the New Bilibid Prisons were severely damaging to the group.
During the inquiry, Roque questioned witness Ronnie Dayan if he ever took advantage of former Justice Secretary Leila de Lima’s frailties of a woman during their romantic relationship. Dayan was the former driver of de Lima.
Roque maintained that his ouster was invalid because it was done in violation of the Constitution and the party’s by-laws.
He cited Section 3, Article 4 of the Kabayan Party-list Constitution and by-laws which provides that a regular party congress should be held once every three years, and an emergency congress could be called upon on the basis of two-thirds vote of the Executive Committee.
The Executive Committee will then serve for a period of three years and its members will be elected at large during the regular party congress.
“I have on several occasions, requested that a party congress be convened, but Rep. [Ron] Salo would have none of it. Instead, he put up his own Executive Committee, composed of individuals he had hand picked, in gross violation of the party Constitution and By-laws,” Roque, a former UP professor on International Law, said in a statement.
“For this reason, I filed today with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) a petition to compel the party to hold a party congress so that the issue of the rightful leadership of the party can be settled legally,” he added.
Roque also asked the poll body to annul the illegal resolution issued by Salo’s board for being null and void.
“The Comelec is the proper venue for the intra-corporate dispute now brewing within the party-list group. Rep. Salo only has his own Executive Committee to back him up. I can confidently say that I have the support of the various sectors that make up the party as well as the duly constituted Executive Board,” he added.