MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has disqualified 2 nominees of the party-list group Ang Kasangga Partylist for failing to prove they represent the marginalized.
In a 12-page resolution dated July 7, the 1st division of the poll body disqualified businessman Teodorico T. Haresco and former city mayor Eugenio Jose V. Lacson—alleged allies of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
“It is unfathomable for the Commission that a big businessman like Haresco and a politician like Lacson can truly understand the plight of small and micro-entrepreneurs,” it said.
Haresco is the chairman of several corporations, including WinSource solution—a company that has been recognized by Arroyo as the “newest entrant to the country’s call center industry.”
He also owns a 50-hectare Intensive Prawn Farm and is a board director of the Philippine National Oil Co.
While Haresco did not refute the allegations of petitioners Kontra Daya, he said he is also part-owner of several micro-enterprises.
Anchoring its decision on a previous decision of the Supreme Court, the poll body said Haresco’s claims are “untenable.”
“Assuming arguendo that Haresco may indeed be a ‘part-owner’ of corporations that are considered ‘micro-enterprises’, this will negate the fact that he is among those considered as ‘big shots’,” the poll body said.
The poll body also did not give credence to the claims of Lacson, a 3-termer mayor of San Carlos City, Negros Occidental, that he also heads several cooperatives.
“This Commission will not warrant itself to become a tool in removing the only opportunity for the marginalized and underrepresented sectors of our society to have a voice in Congress,” it said.
In a separate statement, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr. said “this should now serve as a benchmark for other pending petitions against party-list nominees who do not belong to nor represent the marginalized sectors.”
Bayan is part of Kontra Daya, an election watchdog.
They also questioned the nomination of Arroyo’s son Juan Miguel or Mikey and former Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes in the party-list system.