New Magsasaka party-list rep ‘not legit member’, solon says

No words can describe the disappointment of the Magsasaka sa Sakahan, Kaunlaran party-list group’s leadership, its former representative, Atty. Argel Joseph Cabatbat said.

Cabatbat made the statement, speaking at a press conference Wednesday, after
agriculture entrepreneur Robert Gerard Nazal Jr. took his oath as the new party-list representative before the Judge Paneda of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 220 on 10 October.

On the same day, the Commission on Elections issued a Certificate of Proclamation in his favor as a qualified nominee of MAGSASAKA party-list group.

Cabatbat said the Comelec should have considered the fact that Nazal is “not a legitimate” member of the party-list.

“Aside from not being a member of the Magsasaka party-list, he was a member of a defeated party-list,” he said.

Cabatbat insisted that the party list has never received any petition from the Comelec for the first nominee substitution in the 19th Congress.

“Aside from being left behind in the petition filing, our side was not given a chance to oppose and it was a sudden decision that the Pasahero party-list group will now be seated as the MAGSASAKA party-list representative,” he said in Filipino.

Cabatbat, who is a lawyer himself, questioned the skipping of basic due process on the fate of the party-list group, “signifying there’s an anomaly involved in the decision.”

Meanwhile, he urged the Comelec to investigate the sudden approval of Nazal’s nomination despite lacking in qualification and being part of the defeated Pasahero party list during the May 9 elections.

Cabatbat insisted that the commission should look into the issue since the involved person “is a millionaire who has nothing to do with the MAGSASAKA party-list group.

He said the speculation of conspiracy would only be elevated if the Comelec won’t do something about the raised concerns.

Once he has collected further evidence on the issue, Cabatbat said will be filing cases against the involved individuals.

“So far we have not received anything from the Comelec, we will see whatever excuses they will do and if we will not be happy about it, we will be considering all the legal options,” he added.

Cabatbat noted that politics has nothing to do with the ongoing party-list representation disputes.

“Money has something to do with this,” he added.

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