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Cajes is first Boholano solon in HRET
By MANUEL FERDINAND RAMIREZ DE ERIO

A Boholano solon is finally elected to complete the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET). Second district representative Roberto C. Cajes, who is now on his third term is the first Boholano congressman to be counted among the members of the two most-sought after committee in the house of representatives, since its founding in 1988.

Unlike the standing committees in the house of representatives, there are only two departments promulgated and mandated by the 1987 Philippine Constitution for the Senate and the Congress. These are the Commission on Appointments (CA) and the HRET, hence considered “elite” and most-sought after.

Pursuant to Article VI Section 17 of the Philippine Constitution the HRET shall be composed of “…nine members, three of whom are justices of the Supreme Court who are assigned to the tribunal by the chief justice; the remaining six are the members of the Senate or the House of Representatives chosen on the basis of proportional representation….”

For the 14th congress, the HRET is composed of Justices Consuelo Ynarez-Santiago, Antonio Carpio and Renato Corona. The six members from the house of representatives are Senior member Rep. Mauricio Domogan (Baguio City), Rep. Fred Castro (Capiz), Rep. Roberto Cajes (Bohol), Rep. Solomon Chungalao (Ifugao), Rep. Florencio Miraflores (Aklan) and Rep. Justine Mark Chepico (Laguna)

During the 13th congress, Cajes was elected chairman of the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges. His committee dealt with all matters directly and principally relating to the duties, conduct, rights, privileges and immunities, dignity, integrity and reputation of the House and its Members.

Notably, the ethics committee during Cajes’ chairmanship has captured the limelight and media mileage due to controversial issue on the alleged German bank account of First Gentelman (FG) Mike Arroyo.

The case filed by FG against the then Pateros congressman and now Senator Allan Peter Cayetano has challenged Cajes’ legislative prowess during the 13th congress. Cajes whose prudence and precision in his profession as lawyer before he entered politics, has shed light and eventually resolved the issue.

Cajes has been a top candidate for the position in the HRET due to his sterling performance, especially in the manner he handled the sensitive case of Arroy vs. Cayetano. The members of the house have voted for Cajes based on his credibility, integrity and capacity as a legislator.

As member of the HRET the Cajes shall involve in the investigation, hearing and shall be sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of their respective members.

As of press time, there are already 35 cases filed in the HRET which conveyed every Thursday morning.


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