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Justice’s son wants SC to order his assumption as Marinduque solon

The son of Supreme Court Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco on Tuesday asked the high tribunal to order House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte to install him as the rightful representative of Marinduque's lone district.

At the same time, Lord Allan Jay Velasco also asked the high court to order the current sitting Marinduque congresswoman, Regina Ongsiako-Reyes, to vacate her post.

The younger Velasco said House of Representatives secretary-general Emilia Barua-Yap should be ordered to remove Reyes' name in the "Roll of Members of the House of Representatives" and register in its place his own name.

Velasco insisted that the March 27 and May 14, 2013 resolution of the Commission on Elections cancelling the certificate of candidacy of Reyes were already final.

Likewise, Velasco said that the June 25, 2013 ruling of the Supreme Court on the matter, as well as the July 16, 2013 certificate of canvass of votes and his proclamation have become "final and executory."

"In view of the foregoing, it is clear that Hon. Feliciano Belmonte Jr. as Speaker of the House of Representatives has the legal and ministerial duty to administer the oath in favor of petitioner Velasco and allow him to assume the position of Marinduque representative," said Velasco.

In disqualifying Reyes, the Comelec en banc ordered the Provincial Board of Canvassers (PBOC) of Marinduque to proclaim Velasco the winning representative in the province’s lone district.

Lord Allan's father, Justice Velasco, has since inhibited himself from a petition earlier filed by Reyes contesting her disqualification. The high court ultimately ruled in favor of Lord Allan and upheld his disqualification.

Voting 5-2, the Comelec en banc at that time said Reyes lacked the one-year residency required for an elected official. In March, the Comelec First Division canceled her certificate of candidacy on the grounds that she is an American citizen.

Reyes had repeatedly denied that she is an American citizen. She also accused her rival's father, Justice Velasco, of wielding his influence following a high court ruling favoring Reyes' earlier disqualification by the Comelec. The SC justice denied Reyes' accusations.

Reyes ended up still being proclaimed as the winning candidate and took her oath after that. Lord Allan tried contesting this, but the Comelec junked his plea, with the poll body this time saying the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) has already acquired jurisdiction over the case. — BM, GMA News