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ABAKADA General Counsel FLORANTE LEGASPI JR. today dismissed as "pure and simple harassment" the case of usurpation of authority filed by erstwhile ABAKADA President Samson S. Alcantara and four other party members before the Office of the Ombudsman against House Speaker Prospero Nograles and ABAKADA Representative Jonathan dela Cruz.

In their complaint, Alcantara et al charged the two together with HREP Secretary General Marilyn Barua-Yap with "conspiring to prevent Alcantara from assuming his seat as ABAKADA'S representative" wrongly insisting that de la Cruz has submitted his irrevocable resignation on May 5, 2009. "For several months now, Alcantara and his group have been trying to unseat dela Cruz based on spurious documents and specious arguments," Legaspi advised.

Saying that the issue is purely an internal party matter, he noted that in view of the underhanded and unethical acts of the Alcantara group the party membership have decided on several occasions to affirm de la Cruz' stay as the party's representative in Congress. On two of such occasions - the All Leaders' Assembly held last December 15, 2009 and then reiterated during the party's General Assembly, its first ever since its establishment in 2004, - held last February 6 in Quezon City, the members advised the Alcantara group not to misinterpret their "show of goodwill and solidarity" as acquiescence to their "anti-party" acts.

"The undeniable fact is that as second nominee Alcantara can only assume office when there is a vacancy to fill in. There is no such thing at all contrary to his protestations," Legaspi emphasized as de la Cruz withdrew his letter of resignation before it could take effect last December 31, 2009.

"Speaker Nograles and Secretary-General Yap could not have simply enrolled Alcantara into the House rolls without violating the party list law, COMELEC NBC Resolution No. 09-012 and the rules of the House itself," Legaspi added.

"The matter is a non-issue. Alcantara and his group do not represent the party. What they are doing is to desperately derail the party's efforts to transform itself into a dynamic, transparent and accountable organization," Legaspi said.