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House removes Eugene & de Vera at the Congress of the ABS party

(UPDATED) Expelled representative of Arts, Business and Science Professionals Eugene de Vera considers his removal to be "unconstitutional"

Published 6:55 PM, November 19, 2018

Updated at 19:40, 19 November 2018

Expelled. Eugene de Vera is removed as a member of the ABS party and as his representative in the House. Photo: Mara Cepeda / Rappler

Expelled. Eugene de Vera is removed as a member of the ABS party and as his representative in the House. Photo: Mara Cepeda / Rappler

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The House of Representatives expelled Eugene & de Vera as a representative of the Arts, Business and Science Professionals (ABS) party on Monday, November 19.

This happened after ABS approved the board's resolution of September 7, releasing De Vera as its member. Chairman of the majority Rolando Andaya informed the plenary on Monday that the leaders of the House received a letter informing them of the expulsion of De Vera.

The resolution of the board was signed by ABS president Catalina Leonen Pizarro, who has already filed a petition in the case of the quo against De Vera before the Election House of the House of Representatives (HRET).

Andaya said that she also received a resolution from the Election Commission (Comelec) that the De Vera falls under the jurisdiction of the House and is subject to its rules of procedure. The adjudicating body issued a resolution as a response to Pizarro and Andaya in connection with the expulsion of De Vera from the ABS system.

Then, Andaya instructed General Secretary House & # 39; s to remove De Vera's name from the members and replaced him with the second ABS candidate, Ulysses Garces.

But both De Vera and the Representative of the LPG Distributors Association, Arnel Ty opposed Andaya's order.

De Vera, who described the way in which he was removed as "unconstitutional", cited section 4, Rule II of the rules in force, which states that when the validity of the proclamation of the duly elected legislator is called into question, he or she will remain a Home member pending for "final and executive judgment or adjudication of a case over a member's statement by competent judicial or administrative authorities".

"Your Honor, I am a member of this August Chamber, and what is being questioned against me is a bona fide member of my ABS [party]. Thus, jurisdiction belongs to the Election Court of the House of Representatives. The letter itself can not be the basis [to unseat] me, "said De Vera.

He added that he had already made his statement on the quo warranto case he is dealing with.

But Andaya did not listen to De Vera's arguments and only repeated his instructions to the secretary general.

"This is not my personal taste, but this is the situation we have at hand. We must ask that his name be rejected from the list, this is a ministerial duty, Mr. Marshal," Andaya said.

Vice-President Prospero Pichay Jr., who presided over the session, then repeated Andaya's request to the secretary-general. Pichay immediately postponed the session, giving De Vera time to continue to oppose this matter.

Why is the ABS party driving De Vera? ABS listed 4 reasons for removing De Vera as a member:

  • Failure to register and consult with the president of the ABS party and the national executive committee in the management of matters and party decisions
  • "Losing focus" as a congressman representing ABS
  • Failure to perform the functions of the general secretariat of ABS
  • "Loss of certainty" over De Vera's decision challenge the minority leaders Representative of the 3rd District of Quezon District, Danilo Suareza, who "necessarily took the name ABS … without prior consultation and consent / consent of the members of the National Executive Committee"

Why does De Vera think his removal is illegal? Referring to the case law in Lico v Comelec case, De Vera stated that only HRET has jurisdiction to determine whether the congressman is a member of the party he represents in the House or whether he acts in good faith.

"It's unconstitutional, unconstitutional, illegal and bordering on a criminal act. You know why? Only the Electoral Court of the House of Representatives is competent to determine whether the Congressman of the party, in particular the party's Congressman, is qualified or not," said De Vera.

He said that there are only two modes by which to remove the seated Congressman:

  • Expulsion involving two-thirds of all members of the Chamber
  • A quarantine case against HRET

"The first of them, in terms of disorderly conduct, will be referred to the Ethics Committee: a complaint will be lodged with the Ethics Committee, followed by hearings before the plenary assembly and subsequent conviction for expulsion or suspension for more than Six months would require two-thirds of all members of the House of Representatives, "De Vera said.

"Another way to get rid of a congressman is to submit a quo-warranto for qualifying before HRET." HRET is the only judge [of] all electoral and qualifying elections against sitting congressmen, "he added.

Feelings of De Vera are similar to the views of electoral lawyer Emil Maranon III on the former lawmaker Harry & # 39; Roque & # 39; Marañon he wrote on Rappler why the Kabayan party could not simply remove Roque & # 39; as a congressman.

Marañon said the 1987 Constitution lists two ways to remove a congressman. Article VI, point 16.1.3, says that a congressman may be expelled while two-thirds of all Chamber members are admitted, while article VI, section 17 says that the legislator may be removed by HRET either by way of election protest or by way of a quo- warrant. –

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