Ilocos Sur lawmaker resigns-A A +A
Monday, February 28, 2011
MANILA -- After being sentenced to one year and six months imprisonment for drug trafficking, Ronald Singson has finally decided to give up his seat as representative of the first district of Ilocos Sur.
House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte met with Ronald's father, Ilocos Sur Governor Chavit, Sunday night to discuss the process of resignation from the House of Representatives. Belmonte said the congressman will be out of office by the end of this week.
"At 7 p.m. last night, he went to our home then called me up two hours earlier if he can meet me. When I came home, he was already there and he assured me even before the subsequent hearings [that]... his son will resign after the judge comes down with a verdict," Belmonte said.
Representative Singson's salary will be frozen effective Tuesday and his priority development assistance fund (PDAF) for this year worth P70 million is still intact. His office will cease to exist, said the Speaker.
Belmonte said he will ask the House committee on suffrage and electoral reforms to pass a resolution asking the poll body to schedule a special election in Singson's district.
"We will request the (suffrage) committee to pass a resolution and then address inform the Commission on Elections that there is a vacancy to set a date (for the special elections)," Belmonte said.
According to the Speaker, Governor Singson intends to send a representative to Hong Kong to get the resignation letter from his son.
Once the resignation letter reaches the office of the younger Singson, it will be forwarded to the secretary general to formally drop the lawmaker from the House rolls.
The ethics committee, meanwhile, which had originally scheduled a hearing on the case of Singson, was asked to delay the hearing on the ethics complaint filed against the lawmaker.
Lawyer Fernando Perito filed a complaint against the legislator before the House committee on ethics.
Ethics committee chair Erico Aumentado earlier appealed to Singson to resign from his post to spare the committee from lengthy proceedings as it has other matters to discuss.
The Hong Kong court sentenced the lawmaker to one year and six months of jail time -- one year and four months for cocaine possession and two months for carrying two tablets of diazepam, the generic form of Valium.
Singson was caught with 6.67 grams of cocaine in July 2010 while transiting through Hong Kong's airport en route to Macau. He admitted that he went on a cocaine-and-gambling binge after he had an argument with his rumored girlfriend, actress Lovi Poe, in an Usher concert last year. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)