Contest for House minority top post reaches High Court

September 12, 2018

THE battle for the minority leadership is still on with the filing of a petition before the Supreme Court by the group of former House Majority leader Rodolfo Fariñas which still cannot accept that Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez is the duly-elected Minority Leader.

Fariñas, together with some solons, is contesting before the SC  the election of Suarez, saying his alliance with Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo shows that he is already a member of  the Majority bloc.

The former leader sent to the House reporters a copy of his bloc’s petition for certiorari, prohibition, and/or mandamus with prayer for temporary restraining order (TRO), and status quo ante order against Suarez.

Filed on August 30, the respondents include Suarez, Speaker Arroyo, and Majority Leader Rolando Andaya.

Suarez is among those who voted for Arroyo as Speaker after unseating Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez.

Fariñas’ bloc wants Arts, Business, and Science Professionals (ABS) Rep. Eugene de Vera to become the duly recognized minority leader as he was the only lawmaker from Suarez’s bloc who did not vote for Arroyo.

De Vera was Deputy minority leader then.

Another group led by Marikina Rep. Miro Quimbo is also planning to file a petition against Suarez before the SC.

The Fariñas bloc is arguing that House leaders have committed “grave abuse of discretion” by retaining Suarez for the post and refusing to recognize De Vera.

In the petition, the lawmakers want the SC to issue a status quo ante order “to maintain and observe the last actual, peaceable, and uncontested situation which has preceded the controversy” and sustain De Vera as minority leader.