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Noynoy asks SC to strike down law on new CamSur district

Senator Benigno Simeon “Noynoy" Aquino on Tuesday asked the Supreme Court to declare as unconstitutional a newly passed law creating another congressional district in Camarines Sur province. Aquino, in a 33-page petition, said Republic Act 9716 was passed to accommodate presidential son Diosdado “Dato" Arroyo, the incumbent congressman representing Camarines Sur’s first district at the House of Representatives, in next year's elections. RA 9716, which was approved last October 12, will split Camarines Sur’s first district into two legislative districts. Aquino said the law would benefit the current administration as it would provide a congressional seat to Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya, the former first district congressman of Camarines Sur who is reportedly planning to reclaim the post from Arroyo in the 2010 polls. “There are political considerations. The potential fight between two (administration) stalwarts is avoided because the district that they will both contest has suddenly been split into two," Aquino told reporters in an interview. Aquino, who is running for president next year, accused President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo of tapping Andaya to join her Cabinet so that her son could take over the post. Laws for political interests He also said the law should be declared void since it gives lawmakers “unbridled power to reapportion their districts to suit their political interests." “It is not a question of whether or not the congressman would agree to the creation of a new legislative district. It is a question of whether or not it would translate to better representation for the people living in the said locality, given that the population of a particular locality has grown so much as to entitle it a new legislative district," he said. Aquino claimed that the population required by the Constitution for a new district was not met under the RA 9716, which was authored by Sen. Joker Arroyo at the Senate and Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Villafuerte at the House. In Malacañang, Press Secretary Cerge Remonde denied Aquino’s allegations and accused him of inviting judicial encroachment in the legislative process by questioning the legality of RA 9716. He also said it was “odd" that a member of the Congress is asking the Supreme Court to declare as unconstitutional a new legislation. “May pagka-asiwa yata iyan (There’s something odd in that) because he’s still a member of Congress," Remonde said. - GMANews.TV