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Nation

Another justice asked to inhibit in Marinduque lawmaker’s DQ case

Edu Punay - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Supreme Court Associate Justice Arturo Brion has been asked to inhibit from the disqualification case filed against Marinduque Rep. Regina Ongsiako-Reyes before the SC.

Joseph Socorro Tan, a registered voter from Torrijos town who earlier sought Reyes’ disqualification before the Commission on Elections (Comelec), questioned Brion’s impartiality in the case.

Tan said Brion should excuse himself from participating in the resolution of the case due to his ties with Reyes’ brother and former Marinduque congressman Edmund Reyes Jr.

Brion wrote the dissenting opinion favoring Reyes in the SC ruling last month that upheld the latter’s disqualification by the poll body.

Tan said Brion and the Reyes siblings went to Ateneo Law School, as he noted that the magistrate and the lawmaker’s brother belong to the same fraternity – the Fraternal Order of Utopia – and were also colleagues at the law firm, Siguion Reyna, Montecillo and Ongsiako, from 1995 to 2001.

“It is our duty to place on record some factual circumstances which may tend to show that… Brion may not have been as impartial as he would want in his determination of this petition,” the motion stressed.

Tan cited as basis for his inhibition plea Section 1 of Rule 137 of the Rules of Court, which disqualifies a judge “in any case in which he, or his wife or child, is interested as heir, legatee, creditor or otherwise, or in which he is related to either party within the sixth degree of consanguinity or affinity.”

Last June 25, the high tribunal dismissed Reyes’ petition to reverse a Comelec decision disqualifying her due to citizenship and residency issues. 

Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno sided with the majority and voted for disqualification of Reyes.

Brion wrote the dissenting opinion along with Justices Antonio Carpio, Marvic Leonen, and Martin Villarama.

Reyes ran against Lord Allan Jay Velasco, son of SC Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr. 

Velasco, however, is not a party in the SC case. The elder Velasco had voluntarily inhibited from the case.

ASSOCIATE JUSTICE PRESBITERO VELASCO JR.

ATENEO LAW SCHOOL

BRION

BRION AND THE REYES

CHIEF JUSTICE MA

COMELEC

EDMUND REYES JR.

FRATERNAL ORDER OF UTOPIA

JOSEPH SOCORRO TAN

REYES

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