By Anthony S. Pagapulaan


Surigao del Sur first district representative and deputy speaker Butch Pichay has cleared the speculations of him denied of re-election after the Supreme Court (SC) has seconded the Office of the Ombudsman's decision to grant him a dismissal and perpetual disqualification .

In a press statement, the congressman said that the "SC decision only resolved the complaints" filed before the Office of the Ombudsman.

"It must be emphasized that this Supreme Court decision is not a petition for disqualification of my candidacy as Congressman. In other words, the subject matter of said decision has no relation whatsoever to my fitness to run and hold an elective public position, because it did not specifically and categorically rule on my qualification or disqualification to run as Congressman," Pichay said.

He also highlighted that the Ombudsman has "no authority to discipline" him as a member of the House of Representatives, as stated in the Section 21 of the Ombudsman Act of 1989.

Furthermore, Pichay hit on his political opponents, stating that "the malicious filing of nuisance petitions" and "digging of [his] old cases" have been their "hobby" and "part of their political tools."

He is going head-to-head with Hugpong Surigao bet, former Department of Public Works and Highways higher-up and now Construction Worker's Society party-list representative, Romeo S. Momo Sr.

The lawsuit against the incumbent representative arises from an investment in a local savings bank when he was the director of the Local Water Utilities Administration in 2009.

"I continue to remain unshaken in my belief that the people of Surigao del Sur, who have been consistently and repeatedly freely giving me their mandate and trust, are with me in this battle," Pichay said.