STATEMENT ON THE RESOLUTION OF THE COMELEC’S FIRST DIVISION
The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) no longer has jurisdiction to hear and pass upon the qualifications of Representative-Elect Teodorico T. Haresco; hence, the per curiam decision of its First Division has no legal basis and must be withdrawn.
The COMELEC En Banc sitting as the National Board of Canvassers already proclaimed Ang Kasangga as a winning party list in the May 10, 2010 elections last May 31, 2010. Based on the canvassed results of the May 10, 2010 party list elections, Ang Kasangga garnered 296,368 votes representing the clear mandate bestowed to Ang Kasangga to represent its constituents.
This proclamation has been reaffirmed on June 23, 2010, when the Chairman and Commissioners of the COMELEC, sitting En Banc as the National Board of Canvassers for the Party List System in the National and Local Elections of May 10, 2010 issued the Certificate of Proclamation of Teodorico Haresco. The proclamation declared Rep. Haresco as “a qualified nominee of Kasangga sa Kaunlaran, Inc. to sit as representative in the House of Representatives of the Congress of the Philippines, and to serve for a term of three (3) years ending June 30, 2013 in accordance with Section 7, Article VI of the Constitution”.
It is undisputed that Rep. Haresco was already proclaimed, took his oath of office, and assumed office as member of the House of Representatives last June 30, 2010. Hence, it is the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) and not the COMELEC which has SOLE and EXCLUSIVE jurisdiction to pass upon the elections, returns, and qualifications of its Members. This is explicitly provided Article VI, Sec. 17 of the Philippine Constitution which states:
“The Senate and the House of Representatives shall each have an Electoral Tribunal which shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of their respective Members.
Rep. Haresco is a bona fide member of Kasangga sa Kaunlaran, Inc. and comes from the ranks of micro-entrepreneurs. He has started micro-enterprises that proved successful and generated livelihood and employment to hundreds of individuals and their families. He has worked in various programs and projects that alleviated the plight of micro-entrepreneurs thru the provision of capital, training, education, and support services.
Rep. Haresco has filed a manifestation pointing out that the disqualification case filed against him before the COMELEC has already become moot and academic. Rep. Haresco is prepared to hail the COMELEC to the Supreme Court in order to protect the interest of Kasangga sa Kaunlaran, Inc. and its constituents.