Reyes asks SC to reconsider her disqualification

Carmela Fonbuena

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The Marinduque representative asks the ponente, Justice Jose Perez, to inhibit due to his association with the father of her opponent

FIGHTING FOR HER SEAT: Marinduque Rep Regina "Gina" Reyes. Photo by Carmela Fonbuena

MANILA, Philippines – Marinduque Rep Regina “Gina” Reyes asked the Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday, July 16, to reconsider its June 25 ruling that upheld her disqualification from the midterm polls over citizenship and residency issues.

She also asked the ponente of the questioned SC decision, Justice Jose Perez, to inhibit due to his association with Justice Presbitero Velasco, whose son — one-term representative Lord Allan Jay Velasco — stands to benefit should the disqualification ruling be implemented.

The motion noted that Perez and Velasco were law school classmates. Perez was the deputy court administrator when Velasco was court administrator.

“By sitting in judgment in this case, Justice Perez, with all due respect, is sitting in judgment on a matter involving his former boss. It is inconceivable that his five years immediate subordinate relationship to Justice Velasco will not come into play, whether positively or negatively, when he is sitting in judgment in this case,” the motion said.

Velasco inhibited from the case but Reyes argued that he “wielded his influence” to make the High Court favor his son. Reyes even threatened to file impeach raps against Velasco.

READ: Marinduque rep threatens to impeach Justice Velasco

Reyes scored the High Court’s “haste” in issuing the ruling. She said in her motion it would lead one “to suspect or even conclude that there  was no other factor that may have impelled the Honorable Court to take such “hasty and imprudent action” except to make the “son of a Member of the Court benefit from the Resolution.”

The final week before the State of the Nation Address (SONA) is a make-or-break week for Reyes, who is fighting an SC position that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) keeps jurisdiction the poll protest until the first day of session on July 22.  

READ: LP vs LP: Gina Reyes and Toby Tañada

Reyes maintained that the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) has taken over jurisidction from the Comelec. She is asking the SC to stop the Comelec from implementing its ruling against Reyes.

In her motion, Reyes noted the HRET rulings show that poll protests may be filed before the tribunal 15 days after a candidate is proclaimed. —

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