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Ex-Marinduque solon denies close ties with SC Justice Brion

July 24, 2013 12:56pm

A former congressman from Marinduque province has denied having close ties with Supreme Court Associate Justice Arturo Brion even if they used to belong to the same law firm and fraternity.

Former Rep. Edmund Reyes Jr. issued the denial in light of a motion filed by Joseph Socorro Tan asking Brion to inhibit in a case involving the disqualification of Reyes' sister, Regina Ongsiako-Reyes.

Tan was the private petitioner who asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to disqualify Regina for allegedly being an American citizen.

Mr. Reyes pointed out that while Brion dissented to a majority decision that upheld a Comelec ruling disqualifying his sister, another "frat brod" from the Fraternal Order of Utopia voted the other way around and supported the majority.

"Wala kaming pinagsamahan ni Justice Brion. Although we have the same fraternity, Justice Roberto Abad is also our brod but voted with the majority," Mr. Reyes said.

"Clearly, being in the same frat has no connection with the vote," he added.

Mr. Reyes also belied Tan's accusation that he and Brion once became colleagues at the Siguion Reyna Montecillo Ongsiako law firm.

"As far as our legal profession, although Justice Brion joined the same law firm, I was no longer working there since 1995 as I took up my full time MBA course then campaigned, ran for and served as congressman," Reyes said.

"That is why I had no chance to serve as a co-worker, underling or any other capacity with Justice Brion in the law firm," he added.

The former lawmaker also alluded to SC Associate Justices Presbitero Velasco and Jose Perez. The female Reyes had accused Velasco of "wielding his influence" on Perez, who wrote the decision on her disqualification case.

Perez worked for several years as the deputy of Velasco while the latter was still court administrator.

Velasco had earlier inhibited in the case since his son Lord Allan Jay Velasco was the rival of Regina in the May 13 congressional race in Marinduque's lone district.

"Wala kaming pinagsamahan ni Justice Brion tulad ng four or more years of boss at deputy boss relationship of other persons connected with the case of my sister," Mr. Reyes said.

Regina has a pending motion seeking the inhibition of Perez from the disqualification case, which her camp withdrew Tuesday since, according to them, jurisdiction over it has supposedly been transferred to the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal. — Mark Merueñas/KBK, GMA News
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