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Comelec disqualifies two Ang Kasangga nominees

The Commmission on Elections' First Division has ruled that two nominees of Ang Kasangga party-list do not belong to the marginalized and underrepresented sector the group claims to represent. In a decision promulgated July 7, the division chaired by Comelec Commissioner Rene Sarmiento 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." "Respondents Teodorico Haresco and Eugenio Jose Lacson are hereby declared disqualified as nominees of Ang Kasangga party-list," the decision read. The ruling favored the petition filed by election watchdog Kontra Daya. The petitioners are heads of militant groups like Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), Migrante, Courage, and Anakbayan, and winning party-list Alliance of Concerned Teachers. The groups claimed that Ang Kasangga is allied with former President and now Pampanga second district Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. It was alleged that Arroyo had been using her allies to tap the party-list system as a backdoor to Congress. Not micro-entrepreneurs According to Section 6 of Comelec Resolution No. 8807, party-list nominees are supposed to be bonafide members of the organization they seek to represent for at least 90 days before election day. The Comelec said Haresco couldn't be considered a micro-entrepreneur because he is either the chair or chief executive officer of such companies as Winsource Solutions, Winace Land Development Co. Ste., Winace Security, One Beach Land Development Corp., and Chaikofi Corp. As for Lacson, the poll body said the former three-termer mayor is a "politician" and is not qualified as nominee of Ang Kasangga. He was never a micro-entrepreneur, the commission said. On Sunday, Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. lauded the Comelec's ruling. “We welcome the decision of the First Division. This should now serve as a benchmark for other pending petitions against partylist nominees who do not belong to nor represent the marginalized sectors," "Mikey Arroyo [son of the former President] should be the next to be disqualified. Angelo Reyes is another that should be disqualified," Reyes said in a statement. —VS, GMANews.TV