CEBU CITY -- Former Bogo mayor Celestino “Tining” Martinez III still needs to take his oath at the House of Representatives’ plenary hall to be considered a legislator, said House Speaker Prospero Nograles.

Nograles also said that the oath-taking on Wednesday night was not formal and was merely for Martinez’s decision to join the House majority.

Click here for stories and updates on the Sinulog 2010 Festival.

“(It was an) oath to join the majority. Operative act is oath-taking in plenary session hall. If not in session hall, it’s not formal yet,” Nograles said.

Pending that ceremony, Nograles said Martinez’s name “has not yet been entered in the rolls of congressmen.” That is part of the House rules, Nograles said in a text message to Sun.Star Cebu.

Nograles refused to comment when asked how soon Martinez can take his oath at the plenary hall.

Martinez, however, said he was not informed on Wednesday night that he still needed to take his oath before the Speaker in the plenary hall.

Wednesday night’s ceremony, he said, made him a member of the House. He said he also does not know of any arrangement regarding his joining the House majority.

Martinez said that if he will be asked to take his oath again at the plenary hall, he will do so but he would “leave that up to the speaker.”

“Then that would serve as my third oath-taking,” Martinez said.

Martinez said that ever since he learned about the Supreme Court (SC) decision declaring him the winner of the May 2007 4th district congressional elections, he already took his oath twice.

The first one was before SC Justice Antonio Carpio at the SC building in Manila. The second one was before Nograles last Wednesday, Martinez said.

A source with the Salimbangon camp, however, accused the Martinezes of misleading the speaker. The source, who asked not to be named, accused the Martinezes of leading Nograles to believe that the oath-taking was for his entry to the administration Lakas-Kampi-CMD coalition.

Salimbangon’s lawyer, Delon Urot, said Thursday the SC rejected their first motion for reconsideration.

He said they already received a copy of the ruling Thursday.

His camp, however, denied that Nograles already issued an order for Salimbangon to vacate his office in the House of Representatives, as claimed by Martinez last Wednesday.

Urot said Salimbangon and his other lawyers are meeting to discuss legal options. One of the options, Urot said, is asking SC for leave of court to file a second motion for reconsideration. (RSA of Sun.Star Cebu)