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rappler - 24 days ago

House removes Eugene de Vera as ABS party-list congressman

MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives kicked out Eugene de Vera as representative of the Arts, Business, and Science Professionals (ABS) party on Monday, November 19. This comes after ABS approved a board resolution dated September 7 expelling De Vera as its member. Majority Leader Rolando Andaya informed the plenary on Monday that the House leadership had received a letter informing them about De Vera s expulsion. The board resolution was signed by ABS president Catalina Leonen Pizarro, who already filed a quo warranto petition against De Vera before the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET).  Andaya then instructed the House secretary-general to remove De Vera s name from the roll of members and replace him with ABS second nominee, Ulysses Garces. But both De Vera himself and LPG Marketers Association Representative Arnel Ty objected to Andaya s order. De Vera, who tagged the manner of his removal as unconstitutional, cited Section 4, Rule II of the House rules, which states that when the validity of the proclamation of a duly elected lawmaker is questioned, he or she will remain a House member pending final and executory judgment on or resolution of the question over the proclamation of the member by the appropriate judicial or administrative bodies.   Your honor, I am a sitting member of this august chamber. And what is being questioned against me is being a bona fide member of my ABS [party]. So jurisdiction is within the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal. A mere letter cannot be a basis [to unseat] me, said De Vera. He added that he has already filed his comment on the quo warranto case that he is facing. But Andaya did not heed De Vera s arguments and merely repeated his order to the secretary-general. This is not my personal liking, but that is the situation we have on hand. We have to reuqest that his name be dropped from the roll. It is a ministerial duty, Mr Speaker, said Andaya. Deputy Speaker Prospero Pichay Jr, who was presiding over the session, then repeated Andaya s request to the secretary-general. Pichay immediately adjourned the session, giving De Vera no time to further oppose the case. –

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