Ang Galing Pinoy (AGP) Rep. Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo authored only one bill on the welfare of security guards and the measure has been moving lethargically in Congress, according to the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
In a 6-page resolution discussing crucial points that led the Comelec to cancel the accreditation of Arroyo’s party, the poll body said the lone bill, which has just gone past the first reading was a sign of either “sheer laziness” or a “glaring lack of empathy” for the plight of the truly marginalized.
The Comelec noted that the bill intended for security guards is not likely to be passed before the current Congress expires. The bill has just been referred to the House Committee on Public Order and Safety after passing the first reading.
A bill needs to pass three readings before it is presented to the plenary for debate, amendments and a vote. It must then be reconciled with a similar bill in the Senate before it is sent to the President for signature into law.
“If one is truly an advocate, he or she is expected to exert his or her best efforts to push for legislation that will alleviate the cause of the sector he or she is representing,” according to the strongly-worded ruling, which was released to the media on Tuesday night.
The Comelec announced ahead of the release of a copy of its ruling yesterday that it was officially dropping AGP from the list of party-list groups eligible to join the congressional race in 2013.
“We do not know if this is just sheer laziness but to us, this is a glaring lack of zeal and empathy for the plight of the truly marginalized,” the poll body stated in its resolution signed by Chair Sixto Brillantes Jr. and all the election commissioners. Newly appointed commissioner Grace Padaca took no part in the decision.
The en banc ruling also blasted the AGP’s apparent disinterest and failure to appear in a hearing on August 28, when the organization was supposedly scheduled to present documents showing the group’s continued compliance with the Party-List Law.
“This non-appearance can only mean that it purposely boycotted a lawful order of the Commission en banc or it is not at all interested in fighting for the cause of the sectors that it is seeking to represent,” stated the ruling.
On Tuesday, Commissioner Rene Sarmiento noted that none of the group’s nominees listed for the 2013 elections belonged to the sector it was claiming to represent, which included public drivers.
In the ruling, it said first nominee, Charlie Chua is a lawyer and a businessman while the second nominee, Eder Dizon is a physician.
The other nominees Jerold Dominick David, Ryan Caladiao, Alan Trinidad and Bernardo Corella Jr. are a businessman, an employee, a basketball coach and a consultant in Congress, respectively.
“What is even more ludicrous is that its incumbent representative Mikey Arroyo is the son of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and is one of the richest in the House of Representatives who does not, in any way, belong to the marginalized and underrepresented sectors that AG is claiming to represent,” stated the resolution.