By Ben Rosario | Manila Bulletin
Thanks to the reforms instituted by Supreme Court Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta, the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal is expected to dispose of all election-related cases filed before the panel before the true winners of controversial congressional races run out of time in serving as members of the Lower House.
Requesting anonymity, a former House member said the complaint he filed against his political rival was expected to be resolved way ahead of the case he filed before the Commission on Elections (Comelec), a good two months before the May 2019 elections were held.
“The HRET case against the person whom Comelec proclaimed as winner was filed only last June. But I am expecting an early resolution,” the former lawmaker said.
He explained that Peralta is being credited for the speedy disposition of cases filed before the HRET which was observed during the 17th Congress.
“Whatever he introduced in the HRET worked, and worked successfully,” the former lawmaker said.
His concern on the drawn out resolution of the case filed before the Comelec has also been aired by Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and other key leaders of the House of Representatives.
In House Resolution No. 552 filed by them, the House officials urged the poll body to issue the certificate of proclamation to the nominees of Senior Citizen and Duterte Youth partylist representatives.
The two partylist groups clearly won enough votes in the May elections to deserve a seat in the Lower House.
But before HR 552 could be adopted by the Lower House, the Comelec issued the certificate of proclamation of Rep. Francisco Datol, first nominee of Senior Citizens Partylist.
“It has been six months from the date of the conclusion of canvassing but there are no Certificate of Proclamations (COPs) issued to two respective partylists due to unresolved Petitions for Disqualifications against the respective first nominees of the Pary Lists mentioned,” HR 552 read.
Cayetano and other authors of the measure said the Comelec was itself violating its mandate due to the delayed resolution of the cases.
The unresolved poll cases have also violated Comelec mandates under the Philippine Constitution for Partylists voting since the Charter provides that 20 percent of the total number of congressmen in regular districts should be filled by the number of partylist congressmen to be elected.
Aside from Cayetano other authors of HR552 are: Majority Leader Martin Romualdez (Lakas-Kampi, Leyte); Minority Leader Bienvenido Abante (NUP, Manila); Deputy Speaker Michael Romero (1Pacman Partylst) Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta (1SAGIP); Deputy Speaker Conrado Estrella (Abono Partylist) and Deputy Speaker Eddie Villanueva (CIBAC Partylist).