MANILA – Senator-elect Manny Pacquiao's youngest brother Ruel has guaranteed that he will show up for legislative sessions in the incoming Congress.
Sarangani Representative-elect Ruel Pacquiao is among the 18 lawmakers in the second batch of the executive course on legislation.
Manny Pacquiao has been the top absentee congressman during the most part of his six-year stint in the Lower House.
“So far, so good. Ito’y malaking bagay sa ating pag-uumpisa lalo na sa akin na neophyte. Malaking tulong para du’n sa legislation yu’ng inputs na naidagdag,” the younger Pacquiao said.
The new congressman was a former barangay captain and ex-officio member of the General Santos City council before his election.
Congressman-elect Pacquiao added, “Obligation ko po yu’n as part of my job as legislator na kailangan pumasok. Titingnan din natin yu’ng magandang proyekto. Nag--iisip tayo, ano yu’ng magandang programa para sa ating distrito.”
However, the congressman-elect cannot explain Senator-elect Pacquiao's absence from the orientation of new senators at the Senate today.
"’Di ko alam. Baka may importanteng pinuntahan o inatendan," he said.
Another member of this batch is Kabayan Party-list representative-elect Ron Salo.
"I think the class is very helpful to each and every one of us, particularly the first-termers for us to have a deeper grasp of the processes here in legislative making, as well as for us to be prepared. Also, how we’re going to perform our tasks efficiently and effectively when congress resumes,” Salo said.
“Mukhang maganda naman ‘yung bonding, mukhang nagkakaintidihan na kami agad immediately. ‘Di naman kami magkakakilala for one. Immediately, magkakasama na kami. Nagkakaroon ng levelling ng expectation. Nagkakaroon rin ng levelling ng palagay ng loob," Salo added.
Bataan Representative-elect Geraldine Roman also joined this batch.
"Definitely, helpful. We’re neophytes though we’ve had some experience in the past indirectly. Very helpful because it presents an overview of legislative functions, the different processes and the system as well. Really very helpful,” Roman said.
“Technically speaking, this is my first elected position, but our family has been in politics for the past 38 years. Since 1978, both my parents were members of Congress," she added.
Roman shared with reporters her advocacies as congresswoman.
"Well, I have my personal advocacy, which I’ve already divulged to the press. It’s called ‘EQUALITY,’ an acronym for: E for education; Q and U for quality and universal health care; A for agriculture; L for livelihood; I for infrastructure; T for transparency in government; and Y for youth. So, we were talking about measurable results. My intent is that we will pass one bill per advocacy and of course more. If I get at least 50% plus one. I shall have been successful as a legislator."
Roman also talked about the brewing camaraderie in this batch.
"Maganda naman. Lahat kami merong katanungan, agam agam kung kaya’t itong napakagandang lugar upang maibahagi namin ang mga katanungang iyon," she said.
Aside from Pacquiao, Salo and Roman, the other lawmakers in this batch were Michaelina Antonio, Ricardo RJ Belmonte, Aniceto John Bertiz II, Llanda B. Bolilia, Virgilio S. Lacson, Dennis C. Laogan, Lucille Nava, Marisol Panotes, Enrico A. Pineda, Chiqui Roa Puno, Michael Odylon Romero, Horacio. P. Suansing Jr., Alberto Tom Ungab, Rosanna Vergara and Victor A. Yap.
A final batch of lawmakers will take the executive course next week. There are about 110 first-term congressmen in the 17th Congress, of which about 68 are genuine neophytes.