Senator Manny Pacquiao attended only one session in the House of Representatives in the last leg of his term as congressional representative of the lone district of Sarangani, official records show.
From July 27, 2015 to June 6, 2016, Pacquiao showed up at the plenary hall once. He also had 16 absences “without notice” for the entire duration of the 16th Congress’ third and final regular session.
He only notified the House he will not show up for work at the Batasang Pambansa six times during the 23 session days when a roll call was held, according to the document uploaded on the House’s website.
Former Negros Occidental Rep. Julio “Jules” Ledesma IV, who tied with Pacquiao as the lawmaker with the worst attendance record for 2014, fared a little better than him last year by attending sessions for a total of three days.
There was a total of 52 session days in 2015 but there was 29 days when the roll call was dispensed with.
The attendance of House members are classified by the House secretariat as either “actually present” or “deemed present.” Only lawmakers who are actually present in the plenary are counted in determining a quorum.
Pacquiao has juggled his commitments in Congress, sports, and showbiz since he was elected as a lawmaker in 2010. Aware of his reputation as one of the top absentee House members, he promised to attend sessions without fail as a senator.
He said he will continue to show up at the Senate even if he decides to return to the boxing ring.
23 lawmakers aside from Pacquiao, Ledesma
Perhaps due to the election frenzy, more than two dozen lawmakers attended sessions for less than 10 days for the third regular session. Aside from Pacquiao and Ledesma, the list of legislators who had a single-digit attendance record were:
- Manila Rep. Maria Zenaida Angping: 9
- Nueva Ecija Rep. Magnolia Antonino: 5
- Davao del Sur Rep. Franklin Bautista: 3
- Iligan City Rep. Vicente Belmonte Jr: 7
- Iloilo Rep. Hernan Biron Jr: 4
- Manila Rep. Ma. Theresa Bonoan: 5
- Quezon City Rep. Francisco Calalay Jr.: 8
- Pangasinan Rep. Kimi Cojuangco: 5
- Davao Oriental Rep. Nelson Dayanghirang: 9
- Rizal Rep. Joel Roy Duavit: 9
- Cebu Rep. Joseph “Ace” Durano: 8
- Cavite Rep. Luis “Jon-jon” Ferrer IV: 6
- Kalinga party-list Rep. Abigail Faye Ferriol: 6
- Palawan Rep. Douglas Hagedorn: 8
- Aklan Rep. Teodorico Haresco Jr.: 9
- Zamboanga del Norte Rep. Seth Frederick Jalosjos: 4
- Albay Rep. Edcel “Grex” Lagman: 4
- Surigao del Norte Rep. Francisco “Lalo” Matugas: 8
- Southern Leyte Rep. Damian Mercado: 8
- Surigao del Norte Rep. Guillermo Romarate Jr.: 7
- Tawi-tawi Rep. Ruby Sahali: 6
- Ilocos Sur Rep. Ronald Singson: 6
- LPG-MA party-list Rep. Arnel Ty: 9
There were other lawmakers who had single-digit attendance records for the third regular session, but their absences were due to circumstances beyond their control. For instance, former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo did not attend a single session because she has been under hospital arrest since 2012.
Lanao del Norte Rep. Abdullah Dimaporo was only recorded present for one day since he was only allowed by the Sandiganbayan to post bail for a malversation through falsification of public documents case last March. The Sandiganbayan ordered his arrest in August 2013.
39 without absences
Reps. Mary Elizabeth Ty-Delgado, Lord Allan Jay Velasco, Raul Daza and Roberto Mascariña, meanwhile, were only sworn in this year and thus managed to attend only a few sessions before Congress adjourned on June 6.
Of the 293 lawmakers whose attendance were recorded in the third regular session, 39 had a perfect attendance record of 23 days with zero absences and no days deemed present.
The lawmakers who always showed up for the sessions include outgoing House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., Majority Floor Leader Neptali Gonzales II and Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza, who diligently questioned the quorum when only a few lawmakers were seen inside the plenary hall. —ALG, GMA News