MANILA — The Supreme Court, in a 7-4-4 vote, unseated last March 18 Lucy Torres Gomez as member of the House of Representatives for the 4th District of Leyte.
In a decision, the SC ruled that Ms. Gomez did not validly substitute as congressional candidate for her husband, actor Richard Gomez, in the 2010 congressional election.
The SC’s public information office (PIO) in a statement said:
“Lucy Torres could not have validly substituted for Richard Gomez because he could not have been considered a candidate within the ambit of the Election Code because he was held ineligible for failure to comply with the residency requirement.
“Thus, absent valid substitution, Ms. Torres-Gomez could not have been considered a candidate.”
Those who voted to oust Torres Gomez were Justice Estela M. Perlas-Bernabe, the writer of the decision, Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P. A. Sereno, Senior Justice Antonio T. Carpio, and Justices Martin S. Villarama Jr., Jose Portugal Perez, Bienvenido L. Reyes, and Marvic Mario Victor F. Leonen.
Those who dissented were Justices Teresita J. Leonardo de Castro, Mariano C. del Castillo, Roberto A. Abad, and Jose Catral Mendoza.
Justices Presbitero J. Velasco Jr., Arturo D. Brion, Diosdado M. Peralta, and Lucas P. Bersamin inhibited themselves for being incumbent and past members of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal. (Rey G. Panaligan)