REP. Benhur Salimbangon (Cebu Province, 4th district) is asking the same thing that Bogo City Mayor Celestino “Junie” Martinez Jr. has asked him to do: Be honorable.
Junie made the remark the other day, asking Salimbangon to accept the Supreme Court (SC) decision declaring Junie’s son, Celestino “Tining” Martinez III, as the winner of the 2007 congressional elections by close to 5,000 votes.
“I will be honorable as soon as the SC will issue the entry of judgment and the writ of execution by the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET),” said Salimbangon in a phone interview yesterday.
“In the meantime, be honorable and wait,” he told the Martinezes.
Junie based his remark on the Jan. 26, 2010 letter by SC Clerk of Court Ma. Luisa Villarama stating that the High Tribunal will no longer entertain further pleadings or motions related to the case.
But Salimbangon explained that the recent communication from the SC refers to his motion for leave to file a second motion for reconsideration.
There is still that motion from the Office of the Solicitor General asking the SC to hold in abeyance the implementation of the resolution until after an oral argument will be conducted by both parties—Tining’s party and the Office of the Solicitor General, representing the HRET.
The HRET had ruled that Salimbangon won the 2007 elections but the SC set this aside.
Salimbangon said he will not insist on the denial of his motion to file a second motion for reconsideration but insisted that there is still a pending motion to be resolved.
He said he will still attend the regular session of the House of Representatives today.
“If there is no entry of judgment, I will be there. I cannot abandon my job,” said Salimbangon.
He noted that even the 16 newly declared cities had to file three motions when the SC declared its cityhood as null and void.
But last December, the SC finally ruled in favor of the legitimacy of the cityhood by the “League of 16.”
Salimbangon is also not concerned about Tining’s statement that he got an assurance from House Speaker Prospero Nograles that he (Tining) can take his oath of office today at the Plenary Hall.
Salimbangon said that Nograles, being a lawyer, knows the law.
Salimbangon also questioned Tining’s insistence to sit in the Lower House when his presence is not even critical as member of the Liberal Party.
“Since it is the supreme populace who will decide on May 10, be honorable enough to wait until the next elections,” he told the Martinezes.