SC urged to now resolve disqualification case vs Singson
Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) - May 26, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Supreme Court (SC) has been urged to now resolve the disqualification case against Ilocos Sur Rep. Ronald Singson.

The complainant in the case, lawyer Bertrand Baterina, who lost to Singson in the May 2013 elections, made the appeal in an urgent motion filed with the high tribunal.

Baterina is asking the SC to remove the son of former Ilocos Sur governor Luis “Chavit” Singson as a member of the House of Representatives because he was convicted of drug trafficking by a Hong Kong court in 2011 and was imprisoned for more than a year in the Chinese territory.

Baterina filed his urgent motion to resolve the case after Singson submitted his answer to the petition to unseat him. The SC twice extended the period for the congressman to file his comment.

In his motion, Baterina said Singson raised no new points in his answer that needed to be further elaborated.

He said all of the issues raised in the case have been fully discussed by both parties in pleadings before the Commission on Elections, the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal  and the SC.

“There is manifest urgency in the resolution and disposition of this case, for what is being held at stake is not only the position (of congressman) per se, but more importantly, the spirit and real intent of the law and the will of the electorate,” he said in his motion.

“Hence, any delay in the disposition of the case would not only prejudice the petitioner, but more so, the electorate of the first district of Ilocos Sur,” he added.

Singson has argued that he cannot be disqualified, and therefore unseated, on the basis of his drug conviction by a foreign court.         

He will complete his first year as representative of his district next month.

In the past, there have been winners who assumed office when their term is about to end. Former Pasig City congressman Noel Cariño took his oath of office the day the 12th Congress adjourned. He was a lawmaker for only a day.

BATERINA BERTRAND BATERINA FORMER PASIG CITY HONG KONG HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL ILOCOS SUR ILOCOS SUR REP NOEL CARI SINGSON
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