Party-list system being abused?
TACLOBAN CITY –It’s still the voters choice whom they want to become their leaders.
Thus said both Leyte Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez and former congressman Florencio ‘Bem’ Noel, defending themselves on claims that they are using the party-list system to further cement their hold on power.
Both Romualdez and Noel are in the running for this year’s midterm elections under the party-list system.
Romualdez, who is the current congressional representative of Leyte’s first district, is the first nominee of Tingog, while Noel is seeking to return as a congressman as being the first nominee of the An Waray party-list, a position currently occupied by his sister, Rep. Victoria Isabel Noel.
The Leyte solon and Noel said that it is not totally correct to say that they are taking advantage of the party-list system to get elective posts as they are also soliciting votes from the voters through election.
Both claim that they are not abusing the party-list system saying they are represents the marginalized sectors.
“We are going through a democratic process. We’re going into an election so people are allowed to vote and vote whom they want. We didn’t force them whom they should vote for,” Romualdez said.
Noel: ”Everybody can run. People will vote them (candidates) or not.”
The former solon said that while he admits to be ‘guilty,’ he never sought for any elective post other than being a congressman under the party-list system though he would be replacing his sister, if An Waray wins.
Noel’s wife, Josephine “Jaye” Lacson-Noel, was a former representative of Malabon City for one term and is running for the same post in this year’s elections.
In the case of Rep. Romualdez, she is serving on her first term as a congresswoman representing Leyte’s first district.
Her husband, Ferdinand Martin, is running for the said post he held for nine years that ended on 2016.
Election watchdog Kontra Daya said that of the 134 party-list groups participating in this
Year’s midterm elections, at least 62 are with links to political dynasties or official elected in other position.
Aside from Tingog and An Waray, there are also other party-list groups in the region who have relatives holding elective posts or in the running in the May 13,2019 elections.
These are Aangat Tayo whose nominees includes its incumbent representative Neil Bayan with his wife Milliscent Ann as third nominee.
Rep. Abayon is a son of former Northern Samar Governor and 1st District Representative Harlin Abayon.
Grace Evardone, the wife of Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone, is among the nominees of An Waray.
Ako an Bisaya, another party-list group has former Northern Samar Vice Governor Ramp Nielsen Uy, three-term Samar 1st district representative Rodolfo T. Tuazon and former Leyte congressman Eduardo Veloso, as its nominees.(ROEL T. AMAZONA/JOEY A. GABIETA)