THE continued refusal of the supermajority to recognize the House “Legitimate” Eight as the real Minority bloc prompted the group’s members to elevate the issue to the Supreme Court.
Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said they will question before the SC the rules implemented by the House leadership in choosing the Minority group.
Lagman said they are already preparing their arguments, insisting that Ifugao Rep. Teddy Brawner Baguilat Jr. is the true Minority Leader as he got the second highest votes in the speakership bid.
“Within the month we will seek the intervention of the SC, maybe on or before the end of the month we will file our argument,” Lagman said in a weekly press conference.
During the opening of the session last month, Baguilat and Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez bid for speakership to which they lost to Davao del Norte Rep.Pantaleon Alvarez. Baguilat got eight votes while Suarez had seven. In the previous Congresses it has been the tradition of the House that the one who got the second highest votes is declared the Minority Leader.
However, in this Congress those who abstained, 21 of them, became part of the Minority group and in a separate polling, elected Suarez as the Minority Leader.
Another opposition solon, Caloocan City Rep. Edgar Erice said that they are forced to raise the issue before the SC because the supermajority committed grave abuse of power.
“This has established the predicate that the majority chooses its own minority, which is illegitimate. That constitutes a grave abuse of power,” Erice pointed out.
During Monday’s session, Lagman and another member of the “legitimate eight” 1-SAGIP Rep. Rodante Marcoleta questioned the House leadership’s decision to recognize Suarez as the Minority Leader.
Suarez took the floor to nominate some opposition solons as members of various committees.
Other members of the legitimate eight are Northern Samar Rep. Raul Daza, Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano, Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin and Capiz Rep. Emmanuel Billones.