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Reporters go through the needle’s eye to get list of absentee lawmakers


05:14 PM November 26th, 2012

By: Karen Boncocan, November 26th, 2012 05:14 PM

House of Representatives. RYAN LEAGOGO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines—Securing a list of absentee lawmakers is easier said than done.

This was what reporters found out Monday despite the House leadership’s urgings for the media to help it in running a shame campaign against legislators frequently skipping work at the House of Representatives.

House majority leader Neptali Gonzales II has earlier assured reporters that he has directed House secretary general Marilyn Barua-Yap to release the names of their members who were usually absent during session.

Yap told reporters that written requests for such a list must be approved first by the office of the Speaker. She pointed out that it was not easy picking out exactly who among the legislators were guilty of absenteeism as many of them also had other missions outside the House of Representatives.

Yap said that lawmakers also had to skip sessions at times for their roles as part of the bicameral conference committee or the commission on appointments. These reasons for being away were valid, she said.

Currently, the House of Representatives could only provide the media with copies of its House journals, which are also found on their website. But the said document only lists the lawmakers who attended session.

However, the website rollcall.ph has released its own ranking of absentee congressmen with the following House members topping its list:

1. Ledesma, Julio IV
2. Syjuco, Augusto Boboy
3. Ferrer, Jeffrey
4. Macapagal-Arroyo, Juan Miguel
5. Plaza, Ma. Valentina
6. Biron , Ferjenel
7. Jalosjos, Seth
8. Ponce-Enrile, Juan Jr.
9. Bondoc, Anna York
10. Pacquiao, Emmanuel

The rest of the list can be found at http://rollcall.ph/

Yap said the list did not come from her office. He added the said website is not affiliated with the House of Representatives.

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