CA denies Reyes appeal on Marinduque House seat case

Advertisement
Font Size

THE COURT of Appeals (CA) has denied the petition of Regina Ongsiako Reyes seeking to reverse her indictment for usurpation of official functions for taking the position of Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Jay Velasco in 2013. In the 12-page decision written by Associate Justice Samuel H. Gaerlan on April 11, the CA special fifth division said the prosecution did not commit grave abuse of discretion in its July 2017 decision, which reinstated the case of usurpation of official function. “(T)here is no abuse of discretion, more so a grave one, that was committed by the Secretary of Justice when it reversed its earlier Resolution.” Mr. Velasco filed a complaint against Ms. Reyes for filling in the position of Marinduque representative at the House of Representatives (HoR) despite the Commission on Elections’ ruling in 2013 cancelling her certificate of candidacy. Ms. Reyes claimed that she was proclaimed as winner and has taken her oath and only the HoR Electoral Tribunal can resolve the case. Ms. Reyes elevated her disqualification from the election to the Supreme Court (SC) in October 2013, but the high tribunal denied her petition with finality. However, Ms. Reyes still performed duties at the HoR. The City Prosecutor in 2015 found probable cause to indict Ms. Reyes for usurpation of official functions. She contested the resolution before the Department of Justice (DoJ) in 2016, which granted her petition and moved for the withdrawal of her case. Mr. Velasco appealed the resolution and the DoJ reversed its ruling in 2017. The SC in January 2016 ordered to install Mr. Velasco as Marinduque representative. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas