Fariñas elevates House minority woes to SC

Marje Pelayo   •   September 12, 2018   •   2170

FILE PHOTO: Ilocos Norte Representative Rudy Fariñas

MANILA, Philippines – Ilocos Norte Representative Rudy Fariñas on Wednesday (September 12) filed a petition in Supreme Court (SC) questioning the retention of Quezon 3rd District Representative Danilo  Suarez as the House minority leader.

Fariñas argued that the Suarez should no longer be holding the position as he was among the front runners of electing Pampanga Representative Gloria Arroyo as House Speaker.

According to House rules, any congressman who votes for the winning House speaker automatically becomes part of the majority bloc.

Aside from Suarez, also respondent to the complaint are House Speaker Gloria Arroyo and House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr.

Meanwhile, Suarez leaves it to his legal team to answer the filed petition.

“I have my lawyers to answer on that but that’s their right. Sanay naman ako na nadadala sa Supreme Court sa minority leadership issue. All of these are not new to me,” Suarez said. – Grace Casin / Marje Pelayo

Malacañang keeps distance from SC decision lifting TRO on Mamasapano trial

Maris Federez   •   August 7, 2019

The Office of the President has distanced itself from the Supreme Court (SC) decision that lifted the temporary restraining order (TRO) on the hearing of the case against former president Benigno Aquino III on the Mamasapano encounter.

Read: SC lifts TRO on Mamasapano trial at Sandiganbayan

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo has refused to further comment on the issue as the palace would not want to be accused of meddling with the decision of the judiciary which is a co-equal branch of government.

“[W]e refuse to comment on the action undertaken by the Supreme Court, which belongs to a separate and independent branch of government from ours. We cannot and we do not intend to interfere with the functions of other branches which are distinct from the Executive,” Panelo said.

The palace, he added, would rather see the judicial process roll on its own accord.

“We will, as usual, let the law take its course,” Panelo said. (with details from Rosalie Coz) /mbmf

Justice Zalameda takes oath as new SC magistrate

Maris Federez   •   August 6, 2019

New SC Justice Takes Oath. Court of Appeals (CA) Justice Rodil V. Zalameda takes his oath as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court (SC) before Chief Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, while SC Senior Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio looks on, at the SC En Banc Session Hall on August 6, 2019. (Caption by Jay B. Rempillo, Photo by Francisco S. Gutierrez/Supreme Court Website)

Court of Appeals (CA) justice Rodil Zalameda has taken his oath as the new member of the Supreme Court (SC) magistrates.

Zalameda replaced the newly-retired Justice Mariano del Castillo.

He was chosen by President Rodrigo Duterte over 5 other nominees, including Court Administrator Midas Marquez and CA Justice Japar Dimaampao.

He was appointed Court of Appeals associate justice in September 2008 and served as city prosecutor in Mandaluyong City prior to that.

Zalameda obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of the East and earned his law degree in 1987 at the Ateneo Law School.

He passed the bar exams in 1988. (with details from Mai Bermudez) /mbmf

Capiz Rep. Castro eyeing House Minority leader post

Robie de Guzman   •   July 10, 2019

Capiz Representative Fredenil Castro

MANILA, Philippines – Capiz Representative Fredenil Castro is considering seeking the Minority Leader post when the 18th Congress opens later this month.

In a statement, Castro said he is seriously studying suggestions by other congressmen for him to take the post “to maintain a credible balance of opinion on all issues” in the House of Representatives.

“I am seriously considering whether I could maintain my balance considering the hairline difference between being a minority member from an opposition. This is because, critical collaboration as distinguished from being destructive is called for,” he said.

Castro said he is open to suggestion and will wait for guidance before he responds to his fellow lawmakers’ call.

The Capiz representative served as Majority leader in the latter part of the 17th Congress, replacing Camarines Sur Representative Rolando Andaya Jr.

Castro’s statement comes after Leyte Representative Martin Romualdez accepted President Rodrigo Duterte’s suggestion for him to take the Majority Leader position instead following the latter’s endorsement of a term-sharing set-up between Congressmen Alan Peter Cayetano and Lord Allan Velasco as House speaker.

READ: Romualdez accepts House Majority Leader job

READ: Duterte: Cayetano, Velasco to share term as House Speaker

But Bayan Muna party-list Representative Carlos Zarate opposed Castro’s bid, saying the Minority Leader should come from the genuine opposition.

“Mahirap namang hawak na nga nila ang leadership ng Congress ay pati minority leadership ay kukunin pa nila,” Zarate said in a statement.

(It is not right for them to have the minority leadership when they already have the leadership in Congress.)

“If someone is to be the minority leader, he should at least be part of the true minority who opposes the anti-democratic and anti-people policies of the administration,” he added.

Zarate is the progressive Makabayan bloc’s candidate for House Speakership race. (with details from Grace Casin)

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