Not too many congressmen but too many Arroyos in Congress

Kabataan Party-list Representative-elect Raymond “Mong” Palatino today said if there should be a crisis in the House of Representatives, it is “not because there is an overabundance of congressmen but the addition of another spawn from the Arroyo clan in the Lower House.” This was Palatino’s reaction to statements by House Speaker Prospero Nograles and other like-minded solons who are “inventing trivial concerns over the SC ruling granting 32 more seats to party-list representatives by over-emphasizing the alleged crisis the additional seats would cause Congress.”

“The real and present crisis is that we now have too many Arroyos in power. We cannot have too much congressmen, especially if they genuinely represent the marginalized sectors of society. What is terribly bothersome is that these Arroyos are landlords and compradors. Do they really represent who they claim to represent? That is the one questionable thing in this whole matter,” Palatino said.

There will be four Arroyos in the House of Representatives once the SC ruling takes effect. The fourth addition, Ma. Lourdes Arroyo, is the younger sister of First Gentleman Mike Arroyo and claims to represent small entrepreneurs as the primary nominee of Kasangga party-list.

Palatino, who likewise awaits official proclamation by the Comelec today, said, “We condemn the Arroyos and Malacanang for once again making a mockery of the party-list system, first by fielding human rights violator Ret. Gen. Jovito Palparan and now by defending the installation of a fourth Arroyo in the House. Their election into post cannot be hailed as democratic, their mandate questionable because they are clearly detached from the sectors they claim to represent, if they even truly embody them at all.”

“We are not happy to share our victory with them. We cringe at having to share a common chamber with their ilk. We vow to immediately join moves by the progressive party-list bloc to have them disqualified from their posts,” said Palatino. Kabataan Party-list is among the party-lists to secure a seat in the House of Representatives per SC GR No. 179271.

Once proclaimed, the 29-year-old Palatino will be the first youth sectoral party-list congressman to assume office in the House of Representatives.

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