Singson seeks longer time to answer SC ouster petition
Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) - April 14, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Ilocos Sur Rep. Ronald Singson is seeking a second extension of the deadline the Supreme Court (SC) has given him to respond to a petition to remove him as a member of the House of Representatives.

His opponent, lawyer Bertrand Baterina, is asking the SC to unseat him for his drug conviction by a Hong Kong court in 2011.

The SC had given Singson an additional 15 days until last March 25 to file his answer. He is asking for a second extension of 30 days until April 24.

In his second request, he cited the same reasons for his first motion for extension: that his lawyers have to review voluminous documents and that they have a “heavy workload in other important cases.”

Baterina has filed an opposition to the new request for time extension.

He said the reasons cited by Singson in his first and second motions for additional time “are patently similar and are merely intended to delay the resolution of this case.”

He said the records of the case “are not unreasonably voluminous” and are the same as those submitted to the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET), which had dismissed his petition to disqualify Singson.

The HRET and the Commission on Elections (Comelec) are co-respondents in the SC case.     

Baterina said the HRET and the Comelec have failed to enforce the Election Code, which clearly bars a person convicted of moral turpitude, including conviction in a drug-related case, from seeking public office.

Through the Office of the Solicitor General, the HRET and the Comelec have asked the SC that they be excused from commenting on the petition to unseat Singson as a House member.

The HRET and the Comelec invoked the Rules of Court, which they said provide that Singson should not only defend himself but the public respondents as well, since he is interested in having their rulings sustained.

The Ilocos Sur congressman returned to the country in early 2012 after serving time for more than a year in a Hong Kong jail for drug trafficking.

BATERINA BERTRAND BATERINA COMELEC ELECTION CODE HONG KONG HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL ILOCOS SUR ILOCOS SUR REP RONALD SINGSON SINGSON
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with