MANILA – Roberto Uy Jr. on Monday formally took his oath as the representative of the First District of Zamboanga del Norte.
Speaker Martin Romualdez administered the oath during Monday's plenary session after the Commission on Elections (Comelec) proclaimed Uy as the winner of the 2022 congressional race in the Zamboanga del Norte’s 1st District.
The oathtaking was in compliance with the Supreme Court's (SC) ruling declaring Uy as the rightful winner in the May 2022 elections.
Uy expressed his gratitude to the Comelec for their impartial and diligent oversight of the election process.
"I am honored by this proclamation and the trust that the people of the 1st District of Zamboanga del Norte have placed in me. I am committed to working tirelessly to bring back the old glory of our beloved province," Uy said. "Together, we will address the challenges our community faces and work towards a brighter future for all."
The case stemmed from the Provincial Board of Canvassers’ (PBOC) move to declare Romeo Jalosjos Jr. as the winning candidate after the votes of a certain Frederico Jalosjos, who was declared a nuisance candidate, were credited to him.
On election day, Uy received 69,591 votes; R. Jalosjos, 69,109 votes; F. Jalosjos, 5,424 votes; and another candidate Richard Amazon, 288 votes.
After the Comelec declared Frederico a nuisance and that votes cast for him should be voted in Romeo's favor, Uy then filed a petition before the SC which then issued a status quo ante order on July 12, 2022.
The SC, in an Aug. 8 ruling, said the Comelec committed grave abuse of discretion in its order to suspend Uy's proclamation as it was only based on R. Jalosjos’ allegations and that F. Jalosjos is not a nuisance candidate.
During the plenary session, Isabela Rep. Antonio Albano and Lanao del Sur Rep. Yasser Alonto Balindong also took their oaths of office as new House deputy speakers.
Balindong and Albano replaced former deputy speakers Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab and Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
The changes in House leadership came after the chamber adopted House Resolution 1414, upholding the integrity and honor of the House of Representatives and expressing appreciation, solidarity, and support for the leadership of Speaker Romualdez.
Arroyo and Ungab failed to sign the said resolution which caused their removal as deputy speakers, according to Majority Leader Manuel Jose Dalipe.
Balindong committed to defend the honor and integrity of the chamber.
“At the end of the day, our accomplishment will be measured by how we collectively work to make life better for our people. Let us also continue supporting President [Ferdinand] Marcos [Jr.] and the leadership of Speaker Romualdez,” Balindong said.
Albano, for his part, vowed to fully serve the House, as he echoed Arroyo's statement to continue supporting Speaker Romualdez in uplifting the country through meaningful legislation.
"With (former) President Gloria Arroyo's statement of support to our House Leader, Speaker Martin, it is time for us to truly set this chapter aside and continue to work hard without fueling the discords in our legislative body," Albano said. (PNA)