House removes De Vera as party-list representative

November 20, 2018

THE House of Representatives removed Eugene de Vera as representative of the Arts, Business and Science Professionals (ABS) Party-list following his expulsion from the group.

Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. read the board resolution from the ABS Party-list expelling De Vera because of his negligence and failure to fulfill his tasks  as the group’s secretary general.

Andaya added that he received an en banc resolution from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) saying De Vera is within the House’s jurisdiction and covered by its rules and regulations.

So Andaya instructed the House secretary-general to remove De Vera’s name from the roll of members and replace him with the party-list’s second nominee Ulysses Garces.

The party-list board resolution was signed by its president Catalina Leonen Pizarro, who already filed a quo warranto petition against De Vera before the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET).

Despite the objection of LPG Marketers Association Representative Arnel Ty, the plenary still carried out Andaya’s order.

Even De Vera stood up to defend himself but was not granted by the majority of the House members.

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,” he stressed.

Based on ABS Party-list resolution dated September 7, members of the party  had a “loss of confidence” in De Vera, when he challenged minority leader Danilo Suarez.

The party-list explained that De Vera “dragged” the name of the ABS Party-list without “prior consultations with and consent/approval of the members of the national executive committee.”

In a separate interview, De Vera said he will elevate the case before the Supreme Court (SC).