Partylist To Represent Seafarers: MARINO TO CONTEST ANGKLA
Elections 2019 is a one-on-one campaign between two Partylists claiming to represent Filipino seafarers and maritime industry interests.
Phase-off is between Ang Partido ng mga Pilipinong Marino (ANGKLA) and Samahan ng mga Seaman (MARINO).
Simply perceived, ANGKLA prioritizes business matters; MARINO appeals for seafarers (but backed by big-time business).
The PartyList system gives vent to views of identified marginal sectors (youth, women, seniors, etc) as workings of democracy. Sadly, implementation is dominated by political overlords, big business; yet, with smatterings of truly regional, dialect-based and militant-fueled groups.
There were earlier attempts to represent seafarers in Congress but votes did not match the rhetoric. Until ANGKLA was organized in 2011 and polled 400,000 votes in the 2013 elections gaining a seat in the Lower House. It repeated in 2016 for the 17th Congress.
The Constitution allots 20% Lower House membership from Partylist nominees, maximum at three nominees each, dependent on votes they gather nationwide. Over 180 groups filed for the vote but only 134 was accredited by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC).
In the 2016 polls, ANGKLA earned a seat with 332,192 votes, 1.1% of the total cast for Partylist. MARINO missed with 100,323 (0.3%) and AMOR-SEAMAN with 67,134 (0.2%).
ANGKLA claims credit on four landmark laws: MARINA STCW (RA10635), Cabotage Amendments (RA10668), Naval Architecture Modernization (RA10698) and Seafarers’ Protection (10706).
It commits to a Seven-Point Agenda on research, Government watch, inclusive growth, expanded services. The catcall is ANGKLA was born in the boardroom with corporate genes.
MARINO was organized Valentine of 2014 by seafarers and families and dependents, as well as advocates of maritime education. It takes strength from the Visayas and Mindanao with the usual beef against Imperial Manila for hogging services and opportunities.
MARINO waves a Five-Point priority: Cadet scholarships, Family centers, Trainings, Free legal services and Decentralization. But for the popular front, it is allegedly dictated by big business
First nominee is the veteran Joselito A. Manalo of Ternate, Cavite; youngest child of Merchant Marine Capt. Illuminado and his wife, a public school teacher. He is a lawyer but “maritime,” by kinship, by blood, by studied choice.
The second is Capt. Ronald Enrile, SVP of a firm that deploys over 51,000 Filipino Seafarers on over 1,200 vessels, one of the largest crew management companies with principals from Asia, Europe and North America. Enrile is PMMA Batch ’81, with a BS Marine Transport, majoring in Navigation and Seamanship.
Third is Atty. Butch Lopez while Engr. Peter Lugue is the fourth nominee.
MARINO’s first three nominees are Carlo Lisandro Gonzalez, Jose Antonio G. Lopez and Carlo Pio Pacana, a full overhaul of the 2016 nominees with Florence Alejandre, Lorenzo Edwin Eusebio, Rene Rizza Bernardo-Mamburam, Christ Lamb Reae Vicente and Lawrence Umayan.
First nominee Gonzales is owner of Ulticon Builders (UBI), a “Triple A” general contractor which in March 2017 bagged a contract of P183-million from the Dept. of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
Second nominee Lopez is Ateneo de Davao graduate. He previously worked with UBI, now handles business development at Udenna (controlling interest of Phoenix Petroleum of the Dennis Uy conglomerate).
Its third nominee is Carlo Pio Pacana, a major partner in Sumifru-Phil which is a large-scale exporter based in the Davao region. It is in the sourcing, production and export of fresh fruits, primarily Cavendish banana, pineapple and papaya
Ike D. Solis may also be a nominee, a maritime instructor accredited by MARINA-Davao Region.
Expectedly, ANGKLA has the declared support of professional organizations:
- Joint Manning Group (JMG)
- Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SONAME)
- Phil Register of Shipbuilding (PRS)
- Shipyards Association of the Phil (SHAP)
- Ship Managers Association of the Phil (SMAP)
- Phil Inter-island Shipping Association
- Masters and Mates Association of the Phil (MMAP)
At the opposite pole, MARINO claims support from Davao City Mayor Sarah Duterte, the politically active daughter of The President. It is well-received in the Visayas and Mindanao, with Agusan del Sur Gov. Plaza, Davao Oriental Gov. Nelson Dayanghirang and the Liga ng Mga Barangay ng Davao Oriental.
The Phil Councilors League is endorsing MARINO, so with Ms. Imee Marcos, a senatorial bet and daughter of then Pres. Marcos.
Splitting the maritime vote may not be as pivotal with just two competing. Other “marginal” sectors as teachers, seniors, political clans have various groupings within their sectors.
But the elephant in the room is business; obvious for ANGKLA, denied yet by MARINO.
Of course, nothing can be proven in the propaganda and mudslinging of the partisan, political campaign in the exercise of popular democracy.
The imperative is just for elections be peaceful and orderly. Except for armed force and brutal violence, all violations are “understandable” as given and endemic to local practices.
Vote wisely. Can we?