SC junks petitions vs party-list lawmakers

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The Supreme Court (SC) has thrown out several petitions assailing proclamations of party-list representatives from Mindanao, citing lack of jurisdiction.

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In a full-court ruling dated February 3, 3015 but released to the media just recently, the tribunal dismissed the petitions filed by several individuals against the proclamations of Anak Mindanao party-list’s first nominee Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman and other nominees.

“Considering that [Turabin-Hataman] had already assumed her position as member of the House of Representatives during the regular session of the 16th Philippine Congress, the issues relating to her proclamation and qualification are best addressed to the House of Representatives with respect to all matters essential to the latter’s election, returns and qualifications, regardless of any allegations as to the invalidity of his/her proclamation,” the High Court said.

“It is a well-settled rule that once a winning candidate has been proclaimed, taken his oath and assumed office as a member of the House of Representatives, the jurisdiction of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) over election contests relating to his/her election, returns and qualifications ends, and the HRET’s own jurisdiction begins,” the ruling, promulgated by Clerk of Court Enriqueta Vidal, stated.

HRET is the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal.

“Consequently, the instant petitions for certiorari are not the proper remedies for the petitioners in both cases to question the propriety of the National Board of Canvassers’ proclamation, and the events leading thereto,” the SC ruling said.

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