Mikey Arroyo back in House representing security guards, tricycle drivers, farmers

Former Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel "Mikey" Arroyo is back in the House as the representative of party-list group Ang Galing Pinoy (AGP), which claims to represent security guards, tricycle drivers and farmers, reports 24 Oras.

This is after the Commission on Elections allowed Arroyo to be AGP’s nominee, dismissing disqualification cases against Arroyo filed by party-list groups Gabriela and Bayan Muna. The party-list groups argued that the son of Former Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is not fit to represent the marginalized since he is not marginalized himself.

However, Comelec Chairperson Jose Melo said, "He need not be marginalized. It’s enough that he belongs to the party." Melo abstained from voting, while commissioners Nicodemo Ferrer, Lucenito Tagle, Armando Velasco and Elias Yusoph voted to junk the cases.

Commissioners Rene Sarmiento and Gregorio Larrazabal dissented. According to them, House representatives of marginalized groups must be from the marginalized sector as well based on the Supreme Court and Comelec guidelines.

The Comelec’s en banc decision goes against their previous decision to disqualify nominees of Ang Kasangga party-list group since they are not micro-entrepreneurs, the sector Ang Kasangga claims to represent. The decision said it is "’unfathomable’ how businessman Teodorico Haresco and former San Carlos City, Negros Occidental Mayor Eugenio Jose Lacson can ’truly understand the plight of the small and micro-entrepreneurs,’" according to GMANews.tv.

To this, Melo said, "It’s a little bit contradictory... Ewan ko sa kanila [other commissioners], wala ako do’n eh."

Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares said, "With the Comelec decision, the destruction of the party-list system is at hand." He said their party would file a case in the Supreme Court.

Arroyo’s lawyer Romulo told GMANews.tv that the Comelec’s decision is appropriate. He said the disqualification cases "failed to introduce any evidence to assail the Comelec’s findings... [and] to prove their allegations against Arroyo’s qualifications."

Mikey Arroyo is the fourth Arroyo in Congress, joining his mother Gloria, Pampanga second district representative; his brother Diosdado "Dato," Camarines Sur first district representative; and his uncle Ignacio "Iggy," Negros Occidental fifth district representative.

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