REPRESENTATIVE Juan Miguel "Mikey" Arroyo faces a disqualification case at the House of Representative Electoral Tribunal (HRET) following the decision of the poll body allowing him to represent the Ang Galing Pinoy (AGP).

Former Akbayan representative Risa Hontiveros filed a petition for quo warranto at the HRET Wednesday, protesting Arroyo’s qualification to represent security guards and tricycle drivers in the lower chamber.

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“Allowing Arroyo to occupy a seat as member of the House of Representatives violates the doctrine of Equal Protection of Laws, and thus renders him ineligible to occupy a seat in the 15th Congress,” the petition stated.

Hontiveros explained that the former presidential son disobeyed the law when he failed to submit the requirements of Comelec to prove the veracity of his representation in the AGP.

Comelec Resolution No. 8807 states that all party-list nominees should submit documentary evidences like track record to prove that they truly represent the marginalized or else they will be disqualified.

In a letter furnished to the Akbayan, Comelec Law Department Director Ferdinand Rafanan said that AGP failed to provide the necessary documents before the deadline set, and up to this date, Arroyo has not filed any.

The same resolution also states that party-list organizations should not be the only ones marginalized and underrepresented but also its nominees.

"This may in turn allow for the utter bastardization of the party-list system, as persons who have no history or track record of working for the marginalized and underrepresented will be allowed to stand for their interests," Hontiveros noted.

She also urged the HRET to require all new party-list representatives to submit the necessary documents to prove their eligibility.

"Allowing Arroyo to represent security guards and tricycle drivers among others also sets a dangerous precedent to bogus party-list organizations," Hontiveros concluded.

Meanwhile, AGP Representative Arroyo said that he recognizes the Comelec en banc's decision to uphold the legality of his office.

"I will give security guards and tricycle drivers insurance. Nobody has done that for them before," Arroyo said when asked what he intends to provide his constituents in the 15th Congress.

Resolve mayor’s case

Resident of Sto. Tomas town in Batangas has asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to resolve the election protest case filed against their proclaimed Mayor Renato Federico.

In a protest march, the residents are denouncing the plan of its local chief executive to build a casino in the municipality.

Federico was proclaimed by Comelec as the winner of the mayoralty race in the May 2010 election, which is currently the subject of a petition for annulment filed before the poll body by Osmundo Maligaya, the other contender in the Sto.Tomas mayoralty race.

Maligaya in his petition said that Federico’s proclamation should be annulled because the Municipal Board of Canvassers (MBOC) also proclaimed Edna Sanchez, who withdrew from the race and replaced by Federico the same date.

Furthermore, Federico was proclaimed by the MBOC without convening making the proclamation illegal.

The Comelec law department also nullified the candidacy of Federico after he failed to reach the December 14 deadline of submission of certificate of candidacy for substitute candidate as well as the fact that Federico was not nominated by a political party.

However, the Comelec en banc overturned the Law department’s ruling and allowed Federico to replace Sanchez.

Federico ran as substitute for Sanchez who withdrew from her candidacy for mayor after she decided to go up against Vilma Santos-Recto following her husband Armand Sanchez’s death.

After the election results came out, the MBOC of Sto. Tomas proclaimed Edna as the winning mayor of the town, even while she ran and lost to Santos-Recto in the gubernatorial election of Batangas.

Based on the same results, a proclamation declaring Federico as the mayoralty race winner was also issued by the MBOC, with the proclamation having the same date and time as Edna’s copy of the document, and signed by the same Comelec officials.

Federico’s proclamation was issued without informing the parties concerned and without the MBOC convening for a meeting.

As of last week, the opposing camps have been required by the Comelec to submit their respective position papers.

The Comelec en banc is expected to issue its decision within this month. (Kathrina Alvarez/MSN/Sunnex)