BOGO City Mayor Celestino “Junie” Martinez Jr. yesterday urged Rep. Benhur Salimbangon (Cebu Province, 4th district) to accept the Supreme Court (SC) decision naming his son, Celestino “Tining” Martinez III, as the real winner in the 2007 elections.
This, after the Supreme Court, in a letter dated Jan. 26, said that it will no longer entertain further pleadings or motions “referring to the G.R. No. 189034 (Celestino A. Martinez III vs. House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) and Benhur L. Salimbangon).”
The letter came from SC Clerk of Court Ma. Luisa Villarama.
“Let the entry of judgment be made in due course,” Villarama quoted a portion of the SC’s Jan. 26 resolution.
“Benhur’s refusal to accept the SC decision reflects what kind of a person he is. You’re supposed to be an honorable person. You have to respect the decision,” Martinez said.
The elder Martinez believes that the High Tribunal is convinced that Salimbangon knew that he lost to Tining in the election but applied dilatory tactics to prevent his replacement in the House of Representatives.
Martinez explained that when the HRET decided sometime in the middle of last year that Benhur won, they filed a motion for reconsideration, which was denied, prompting them to appeal before the SC.
He said that in the first week of December 2009, the SC ordered Salimbangon to answer Tining’s petition within 10 days without extension.
“They waited for the 10 days to pass, then Atty. Delfin Urot filed a motion for extension of time to submit answer allegedly because the Brillantes Law Office, the original counsel, will not anymore handle and he needs time to study. The SC may have sensed a dilatory tactic and decided in Tining’s favor,” Martinez said.
Martinez also said that after the SC came out, the Brillantes Law Office filed a motion for reconsideration.
“That may be the reason the SC immediately junked their motion for reconsideration,” Martinez said.
The elder Martinez also urged Salimbangon to stop saying that he cannot be removed from the House of Representatives because God is with him.
“What happened to Salimbangon himself and his sister Maritquita Salimbangon Yeung when the church in Bogo was closed after they desecrated the altar may be a signal for them that using the name of God in vain is not good,” Martinez said.
According to Martinez, the next thing Benhur should do is to turnover to Tining all the properties of the Lower House which are presently in his possession.