The Party-List Coalition of the House of Representatives introduced its new set officers for the 17th Congress. AKO BICOL Party-list Representative Rodel M. Batocabe will assume the presidency while Rep. Arnel Ty of LPGMA Party-list, Rep. Victoria Noel of An Waray Party-list, and Rep. Mikee Romero of 1-Pacman Party-list will be Vice Presidents for the third termers, the second termers, and the first termers respectively.
“Party-lists face an uphill challenge to show the full extent of our capabilities as members of Congress, and we as a coalition gladly accept that challenge in the 17th Congress”, said Batocabe, “this is going to be an eventful year for party-lists and we promise to fulfill our mandate according to Justice Panganiban’s opening lines in the case of Ang Bagong Bayani-OFW Labor Party v. COMELEC: as a “social justice tool designed not only to give more law to the great masses who have less in life, but also to enable them to become veritable lawmakers themselves, empowered to participate directly in the enactment of laws designed to benefit them.”
Rep. Sharon Garin of AAMBIS-OWA Party-list will sit as Secretary General while Rep. Juliet Cortuna of A Teacher Party-list will assume the title of Treasurer. Reps Alfredo Garbin (AKO BICOL), Jericho Nograles (PBA), Eugene De Vera (ABS), Anthony Bravo (COOP NATCCO), and John Bertiz (ACTS-OFW) were named Spokespersons while Jess Manalo (ANGKLA) and Harry Roque (KABAYAN) will be legal counsels.
“This year, we as a coalition hope to work hand-in-hand to show Filipinos why party-list congressmen are here in the first place: to enact laws and resolutions that benefit the Filipino nation”, said AKO Bicol Representative Alfredo A. Garbin, Jr., “true, there may be loopholes in the party-list system, but these are not beyond repair nor do they impede party-lists from legislating for the nation”.
The new headship includes a Technical Working Group Tackling the Abolition of the Party-list System where CIBAC Rep. Sherwin Tugna will be sitting as Chairman, with Roque as Vice-Chair. Former AGAP Rep. Nicanor Briones will be sitting in a President Emeritus capacity.