125 new solons belong to political families
By BEN ROSARIO
Manila Bulletin
July 9, 2010, 6:04pm

With nearly half of the House of Representatives membership belonging to local political empires or families in the process of building one, any bid to revive the constitutionally-mandated anti-political dynasty bill in the 15th Congress could be a lost cause.

A list of House members distributed to reporters during the orientation seminar held Thursday showed that at least 125 congressmen, mostly neophytes, belong to political families in their respective localities.

“The situation has worsened. They have even exploited the party-list election,” said Bayan Muna chairman and former Rep. Satur Ocampo who authored one of two anti-dynasty bills in Congress.

Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, now a congressman of Pampanga’s Second District, heads the list of new congressmen who belong to so-called political dynasties, although her son, second-termer Rep. Mikey Arroyo claimed they do not qualify as such because they represent different congressional areas.

He noted that his uncle, Rep. Ignacio Arroyo won in Negros Occidental, while younger brother, Rep. Dato Arroyo, represents Camarines Sur. Other familiar names in politics who have family members in the Lower House are the Jalosjoses, Dimaporos, Singsons, Ejercitos and Cojuangcos.

The failure of Congress to pass an enabling law to the constitutional provision against political dynasty has been the main reason for the rise in the number of families now building local empires.

In the previous Congress, two bills were filed shortly after session opened, but both failed to pass consideration by the Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms, reportedly due to lack of support.

Ocampo authored House Bill 2493 while former Majority Leader Arthur Defensor filed HB 783. Both were leaders of the minority and majority bloc, but both failed to get the backing of their respective colleagues to pass the measure.

“They have even expanded their territories like the Jalosjos family who now controls two provinces in Zamboanga peninsula,” said Ocampo.

He said Mikey’s reasoning is flawed, pointing out that although the Arroyos represent different congressional districts and partylist groups, they still belong to the same political family that the Charter frowns upon.

An example of a political dynasty in the partylist elections is the family of Bagong Henerasyon Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy whose husband and other clan members occupy five House seats.

There are three Jalosjoses now in the Lower House. They are Reps. Set F. Pal Jalosjos and Cesar Garcia Jalosjos, representing the first and third district of Zamboanga del Norte, and Romeo M. Jalosjos Jr. of the second district of Zamboanga Sibugay.

They are all close relatives of former Rep. Romeo Jalosjos who was expelled from the Lower House following a rape conviction.

The Arroyos are not the only parent-and-child team in the Lower House. Lanao del Norte congressional districts are represented by Rep. Imelda Q. Dimaporo and her daughter, Rep. Fatima Alia Q. Dimaporo.

In Cebu, Rep. Pablo Garcia and his son Rep. Pablo John were re-elected for a second term.

There are also brothers – Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez and younger brother, Rep. Mark Rodriguez of Alyansa Mindanao.
For their part, Reps. Florencio “Bem” Noel of An Waray and Josephine Veronique Lacson-Noel are a husband-and wife team.

A big number of solons in the 15th Congress are “caretakers” of family members who have reached their third and last term as congressmen. Some are returning solons who merely lent their seats to close family members.

In Metro Manila the list of solons belonging to political families include Reps. Feliciano Belmonte Jr. (Quezon City); Mark Villar (Las Piñas); Mar Len Binay (Makati City); Neptali M. Gonzales (Mandaluyong City); Carlo Lopez (Manila); Ma. Zenaida Angping (Manila); Amado Bagatsing (Manila); Rodolfo Biazon (Muntinlupa City); Tobias Tiangco (Navotas); Imelda Rubiano-Calixto (Pasay City); Winston Castelo (Quezon City); Jorge Banal (QC); Joseph Victor Ejercito (San Juan); Sigfrido Tinga (Taguig City); Rexlon Gatchalian (Valenzuela City); and Jaye Lacson-Noel (Malabon).

The list of solons belonging to powerful political families include: Metro Manila: Reps. Feliciano Belmonte Jr. (Quezon City); Mark Villar (Las Pinas); Mar Len Binay (Makati City); Neptali M. Gonzales (Mandaluyong City); Carlo Lopez (Manila); Ma. Zenaida Angping (Manila); Amado Bagatsing (Manila); Rodolfo Biazon (Muntinlupa City); Tobias Tiangco (Navotas); Imelda Rubiano-Calixto (Pasay City); Winston Castelo (Quezon City); Jorge Banal (QC); Joseph Victor Ejercito (San Juang); Sigfrido Tinga (Taguig City); Rexlon Gatchalian (Valenzuela City); and Lacson-Noel. Region I: Reps. Imelda Romualdez Marcos (Ilocos Norte); Ronald Singson (Ilocos Sur); Eric Singson Jr. (Ilocos Sur); Victor Francisco Ortega (La Union); Jesus Celeste (Pangasinan); Ma. Georgina De Venecia (Pangasinan); Carmen Cojuangco (Pangasinan); Marlyn Primicias-Agabad (Pangasinan); Region II: Reps. Henedina R. Abad (Batanes); Juan Ponce Enrile-Jr (Cagayan); Randolph Ting (Cagayan); Rodolfo Albano (Isabela); Napoleon S. Dy (Isabela), and Dakila Carlo Cua (Quirino); Region III: Reps. Albert Garcia (Bataan); Herminia B. Roman (Bataan); Ma. Victora Sy Alvarado (Bulacan); Joselito Mendoza (Bulacan); Josefina Joson (Nueva Ecija); Joseph Gilbert Violago (Nueva Ecija); Czarina Umali (Nueva Ecija); Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (Pampanga); Anna York Bondoc (Pampanga); Enrique M. Cojuangco (Tarlac); Susan Yap (Tarlac); Jeci A. Lapus (Tarlac) and Ma. Milagros Magsaysay (Zambales); Region IV A: Reps. Nelson Collantes (Batangas); Joseph Emilio Abaya (Cavite); Lani Mercado Revilla (Cavite); Jesus Crispin Remulla (Cavite); Justin Marc Chipeco (Laguna); Wilfrido Mark Enverga (Quezon); Irvin Alcala (Quezon); Lorenzo Tanada III (Quezon); Joel Duavit (Rizal); Isidro Rodriguez Jr. (Rizal); Roberto Puno (Antipolo City); Region IV-B: Reps. Ma. Amelita Villarosa (Occidental Mindoro); and Reynaldo Umali (Oriental Mindoro); Region V: Reps. Edcel Lagman (Albay); Renato Unico (Camarines Sur); Rolando G. Andaya Jr. (Camarines Sur); Diosdado Ignacio Arroyo (Camrines Sur); Luis Villafuerte (Camarines Sur); Arnulfo Fuentebella (Camarines Sur); Narciso Bravo (Masbate); Antonio Kho (Masbate); Scott Davies Seachon Lanete (Masbate); and Salvador Escudero III (Sorsogon); Region VI: Reps. Paolo Everardo Javier (Antique); Jane Tan Castro (Capiz); Joaquin Carlos Nava (Guimaras); Janette Garin (Iloilo); Augusto Syjuco (Iloilo); Arthur Defensor Jr (Iloilo); NIel Tupas Jr. (Iloilo); Julio Ledesma IV (Negros Occidental); Alfredo D. Mafranon (Negros Occidental); Ignacio Arroyo (Negros Occidental); and Mercedes Alvarez (Negros Occidental); Region VII: Reps. Pablo P. Garcia (Cebu); Pablo John Garcia (Cebu); Ramon Durano I (Cebu); Rachel Marguerite Del Mar (Cebu City); Tomas Osmena (Cebu City); Pryde Henry Teves (Negros Oriental); and Orlando Fua (Siquijor); Region VIII: Reps. Rogelio Espina (Biliran); Ferdinand Martin Romualdez (Leyte); Sergio Apostol (Leyte); Jose Carlos Cari (Leyte); Raul Daza (Northern Samar); Milagrosa Tan (Western Samar); and Roger Mercado (Southern Leyte); Region IX: Reps. Seth Jalosjos (Zamboanga del Norte); Cesar Jalosjos (Zamboanga del Norte); Aurora Cerilles (Zamboanga del Sur); Ma. Isabelle Climaco (Zamboanga City); and Romeo Jalosjos Jr. (Zamboanga Sibugay); Region X: Reps. Jose Ma. Zubiri III (Bukidnon); Pedro Romualdo (Camiguin); Imelda Q. Dimaporo and Fatima Alia Dimaporo (Lanao del Norte); and Yevgeny Vicente Emano (Misamis Oriental); Region XI: Reps. Rommel C. Amatong (Compostela Valley); Thelma Almario (Davao Oriental); Antonio del Rosario (Davao del Norte); Antonio Lagdameo (Davao del Norte); Marc Douglas Cagas (Davao del Sur); Karlo Alexei Nograles (Davao City); and Mylene Garcia (Davao City); Region XIII: Caraga: Reps. Angelica Amante (Agusan del NOrte); Ma. Valentina Plaza (Agusan del Sur); Philip Pichay (Surigao del Sur); and Ruben Ecleo Jr. (Dinagat Island); ARMM: Reps. Hadjiman Hataman-Saliman (Basilan) and Salic B. Dumarpa (Lanao del Sur).

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