Ex-Northern Samar lawmaker escorted out of plenary hall

DESPITE obtaining a reversal ruling from the Supreme Court (SC), unseated Northern Samar Representative Harlin Abayon failed to reclaim his old post before the House of Representative adjourns sine die on Monday, June 6.

During the last session day in Congress, Abayon was escorted out of the plenary hall after attempting to raise a parliamentary inquiry, wherein he is supposed to present the copy of the SC ruling reinstating him as the duly elected lawmaker of Northern Samar during the 2013 polls.

Abayon insisted that he be allowed to speak and present a copy of the SC ruling in his possession reversing the House Electoral Tribunal's (HRET) final decision.

But before he was able to raise his point, House Deputy Speaker Giorgidi Aggabao (Isabela) ordered the House sergeant-at-arms to escort him out of the session hall.

Last March, Abayon was replaced by incumbent Representative Raul Daza after the HRET ruled with finality in favor of his electoral protest.

In his complaint, Daza, a member of the ruling Liberal Party (LP), claimed he was cheated in the counting of votes, demanding a manual count of ballots in 17 precincts.

The High Court later reversed the HRET decision in favor of Abayon but Daza was already sworn as the former’s replacement.

Abayon failed to take his oath from Belmonte to secure a clearance of his return again for the latest SC ruling.

"I think this is a foul play. This is the first time that a lawful member was ousted by the sergeant-at-arms upon orders of the Speaker of the House although I’m the lawfully elected representative of the first legislative district of Northern Samar," said Abayon.

Abayon said he will seek legal action, especially filing possible contempt charges, since the House leadership failed to honor the ruling of the high tribunal since.

"The decision of the Supreme Court was never respected… I will take the legal remedy available to me," said Abayon.

House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. earlier said that Abayon will be reinstated should the SC have sent the official copy of its decision reversing the final ruling of HRET that removed Abayon from the roster of the present Congress whose members' term of office will expire on June 30, 2016.

But Abayon showed a certified thru-copy of the decision, in which the Office of the House Secretary General already received.

Last week, Abayon was nearly escorted out of the plenary hall of the House of Representatives for interrupting the joint session of Congress when he questioned the removal of his name in the roster of the 16th Congress, wherein he raised a parliamentary inquiry immediately after President-elect Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President-elect Leni Robredo were proclaimed winners. (Sunnex)
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