People of Laguna, Soon to be Voiceless?
There is a danger for the people of the 1st District of Laguna becoming voiceless. But before we continue let me warn my readers that this is going to be a one sided blog, only because I was able to get Dan Fernandez’ side but not the one who filed the case against him.
Anyway, last Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2008, the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) has ordered Dan Fernandez to vacate office as Congressman of the 1st District of Laguna. The reason being that they have found sufficient grounds to believe that there is lack of residency requirements for Dan to hold office as representative of the 1st District of Laguna.
A case was filed against Dan Fernandez by a certain Jesus Vicente.
I called up Dan to get his reaction regarding the matter.
His first concern is that, should he be taken out of office, the people of 1st District of Laguna is going to voiceless in the House of Representatives. According to him no one is going to replace him as congressman. Not even the guy who ran 2nd to him last election.
Why? The reasoning is simple. He won the elections. He was chosen by the people and the law states (this is base on my research) that technically, without considering the case filed against him, he is really the winner and the legal representative of the 1st District of Laguna.
But if you look at the case filed against him to which the HRET found to have sufficient grounds, then Dan must have deceived the people of the 1st District of Laguna to be able to seek public office.
On a phone interview with Dan yesterday, he said that he is going to file a motion for reconsideration, However, he also questions the jurisdiction of HRET for making such decisions and for handling the said case. Because, according to him, the issue of residency should be under the jurisdiction of COMELEC. In fact, a case was filed against him before elections, but the COMELEC has already decided on the case in his favor.
I asked him point blank whether he really is from the 1st District of Laguna. He said yes. He said he has been a resident of the 1st District of Laguna since 2002, this is a matter of public record he added. However, he also admitted that at one point he did not stay in his 1st district house only because he had a problem with Sheila Israel. (This problem is known to public.) But that doesn’t mean that home is not in the 1st district of Laguna.
My personal opinion is that it is like a husband and wife who had a fight and the guy had to leave the house and TEMPORARILY live somewhere else. It doesn’t mean that the husband no longer lives in their house.
Dan also made clear that he still is the Representative of the 1st District of Laguna. The HRET decision is not yet final and executory. He still has 10 days from when the decision was made to file a motion for reconsideration.
As I mention at the start of this blog, this is going to be a one sided blog. Only because I don’t have the means to be able to contact the complainant.
However, a friend who happens to live in Binan and who also happens to be a supporter of the person who ran against Dan Fernandez last election said that Dan only won because he is an actor which rendered him to be perceived as more ‘masa’. My friend also added that Dan Fernandez also pulled stints during the campaign like taking off his shirt and taking a bath in public place with some of the ‘kanto boy’ (a term used by my friend). (Tried calling back Dan Fernandez today to ask him about the public bathing stint but he’s not answering his phone. It’s a sunday.)
Well, personally I don’t agree with publicity stints and I believe that we should all stick to issues. However, actor or not, politicians do pull off some publicity stints. Fro example, Manny Villar having a camera and ‘infomercial’ about the plight of OFWs are publicity stints, right? GMA’s donation for the typhoon victims with her picture and name printed on the ‘lootbags’ are publicity stints right? Senators and other politicians sharing food with the masa are publicity stint right? Why then should we take particular notice of this publicity stint once it’s done by an ‘artista’ turned politician? I’m not saying that it is right, in fact, I hate it but we shouldn’t pass judgment on a certain politician just because he/she is an actor.
An example I like to use is Vilma Santos. She is an actress. I personally witnessed how much they (people of Batangas) love her, not because she’s an actress but because of the things she has done for them. Go out on the streets and do a random polling and 8 out of 10 people will say good things about her and are able to site some things that she has done for them.
I haven’t had the opportunity to do this random survey for Dan, but that’s not the case here. I’m not here to pass judgment whether he deceived the people of Laguna or not, I’m not here to judge whether he is doing good as Congressman. I’m just here to present the case and unfortunately it is going to be a little one sided because I was not able to get the side of the complainant and/or of the people who ran against him the last election.
Sure, Dan is an actor and was a sexy actor. But if he is doing his job properly and if he didn’t deceived the people of Laguna to be able to run for office then there should be no case against him. Whatever publicity he did during the elections should be forgotten and the people of Laguna should just focus on his performance as Congressman. If there is anything, then we should just be thankful that politicians can be good looking and sexy. (Last statement is my very personal opinion.)
Anyway, for those who is not familiar how Rep. Dan Fernandez looks, I’m sharing some pics of him if he is not in office.