Haresco to run as regular candidate, no longer under party listBy Christian V. Esguerra
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—A multi-millionaire representing the supposedly marginalized sector of micro-entrepreneurs will no longer join next year’s congressional race as a nominee of the embattled Ang Kasangga party-list group.
But it won’t mean the House of Representatives has seen the last of Representative Teodorico Haresco, who has a net worth of P92.8 million. He will seek to remain a congressman, this time as representative of the lone district of Aklan.
“I am declining my nomination from Ang Kasangga sa Kaunlaran to preserve and protect the group that I have founded many years ago from intrigues created by some people to wage character assassination against me for reasons still unknown to me,” he said in a statement.
Haresco claimed that “local officials, including 14 mayors and incumbent Governor Carlito Marquez, have signed a manifesto asking him to run as representative of the district.” He said he would file his certificate of candidacy for the congressional race in Aklan.
Replacing Haresco on the list of Kasangga nominees is Marquez, whom the partylist watch dog organization Kontra Daya is asking the Commission on Elections to disqualify.
Other Kasangga nominees are Gwen Pimentel, older sister of Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, and Rene Villa of the Local Water Utilities Administration. He was described in the statement as “a micro-lending expert and long-time public servant.”
Ang Kasangga was identified with ex-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who is now a Pampanga representative. Kontra Daya said the Arroyos formed the group in time for the 2004 elections, its nominee the sister of Jose Miguel Arroyo, the former president’s husband.
“Kasangga Party-list is one more proof of the abuse of the party-list system by the rich and the powerful,” Kontra Daya leader Fr. Joe Dizon said in its petition seeking the disqualification of the group.
Haresco disputed Kontra Daya’s allegations, saying “whoever I am now is the product of years of hard work and dedication in school, in my professional life, and the love of my parents, and most of all, blessings from our Lord.”
The statement said Haresco was “already doing well when he was in the private sector where at one point, he was one of the highest paid executives of a multinational firm in the country.”
“Are my critics saying that being successful is a crime? Is that the message we want to tell our micro-entrepreneurs, that we should not work hard and be successful?” he asked.