CamSur gov, Naga mayor say redistricting 'won't push through'

by Rizza Mostar, ABS-CBN Bicol

Posted at Oct 20 2009 12:21 AM | Updated as of Oct 20 2009 08:22 AM

NAGA CITY - Camarines Sur Gov. Luis Raymond Villafuerte and Naga City Mayor Jesse Robredo believe redistricting in Camarines Sur will not push through this coming elections.

Both officials said they support Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III's opposition to the redistricting which was recently signed into law by President Arroyo.

Several municipalities in the current first and second legislative districts were consolidated to create the new district. These are:

  • municipalities of Libmanan, Pamplona, Pasacao and San Fernando in the first legislative district; and,
  • municipalities of Gainza and Milaor in the second legislative district.

Signed on October 12, the law--An Act reapportioning the composition of the first and second legislative districts in the province of Camarines Sur and thereby creating a new legislative district from such reapportionment--brings to five the total number of legislative districts in the province.

The law, which was published on Oct. 15 in the Manila Standard Today newspaper, is set to take effect 15 days after publication.

A legal case however is now being studied and prepared by the latter to at least delay its implementation.

The approval of Republic Act 9716 or reapportionment bill in Camarines Sur shows not only “political accommodation” to former first district representative and Budget and Management Secretary Rolando Andaya, according to the officials, but also an unconstitutional move.

Villafuerte said the law was passed immaturely with the wrong formula. For one, the population requirement for a district was not met.

This was seconded by Robredo, who said that the law was approved by political power.

He also disagreed that constituents of the district are in favor of the redistricting.

Local officials were not even consulted, according to the mayor, before the bill reached the House or the Senate.

A temporary restraining order will be expected before the deadline of filing of certificates of candidacies.

Meanwhile, Comelec has reportedly come out with a resolution stating the status quo or maintaining the four districts of Camarines Sur this 2010.

Another resolution from the commission is still expected strengthening the previous resolution aside from the TRO.

If nothing blocks the effectivity of the law however then Comelec said that elections with the additional congressional candidates will eventually follow.