MANILA, Philippines – Former House majority leader Rodolfo Fariñas said the removal of Eugene de Vera as party-list representative will not hurt the Supreme Court (SC) case they filed against House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez.
"The unconstitutional and illegal removal of Rep De Vera will not affect our pending petition in the SC as we (my 10 House colleagues and I) are also petitioners in the case with our prayer that we be declared as the duly constituted minority in the HOR (House of Representatives)," Fariñas told Rappler on Wednesday, November 21.
Fariñas’ bloc, which includes ousted speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, is asking the SC to compel Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and the rest of the House leadership to recognize their group as the constituted minority bloc, with De Vera as their minority leader.
The Alvarez-Fariñas-De Vera bloc is arguing that because Suarez voted for Arroyo during the House coup that unseated Alvarez in July, he should already be considered part of the majority bloc.
Another bloc – the Liberal Party members and left-leaning lawmakers led by Marikina 2nd District Representative Miro Quimbo – also filed their own case against Suarez. They are arguing their group is the legitimate minority bloc, with Quimbo as their duly elected minority leader.
On Monday, November 19, current House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr ordered the removal as House member of De Vera, who was expelled by his party Arts, Business, and Science Professionals (ABS) in a resolution dated September 7.
ABS said members had a "loss of confidence" in De Vera after he failed to consult with the national executive committee members before he challenged Suarez's minority leadership.
De Vera tagged the manner by which he was removed in the House as unconstitutional, saying he might even bring the case to the SC as well. Fariñas said De Vera's expulsion is a "mockery of our republicanism" in the House. – Rappler.com