Senior citizens must unite behind current rep | Inquirer Opinion
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Senior citizens must unite behind current rep

/ 05:02 AM December 16, 2020

It’s good to know that recently proclaimed Senior Citizens party list Rep. Rodolfo Ordanes wasted no time acting in behalf of his nationwide constituents (“Solon wants to allow seniors up to 70 years old to go out; expedite pension releases,” News, 10/24/20).

Many people were surprised when Ordanes’ predecessor, the late Francisco Datol Jr., succumbed to respiratory complications arising from COVID-19. The House of Representatives declared a vacancy, and then the Commission on Elections (Comelec) proclaimed Ordanes, the second nominee of the Datol group. Sadly, some people have refused to accept that.

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The Senior Citizens party list has not been without its problems. It has two factions identifying themselves as legitimate: the Arquiza group and the Datol group. The Comelec did not proclaim anyone from both groups in the 16th Congress; the votes garnered by the Senior Citizens party list were declared as stray votes, and thus services to some 10 million senior citizens ground to a halt from 2013 to 2016.

It was not until 2017 that Datol was proclaimed, and a representative of senior citizens once again walked the halls of the House.

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The Comelec is a constitutional body that decides on the legitimacy of electoral candidates, including party list nominees. In the case of the Senior Citizens party list, the Comelec has come out with a resolution and proclaimed the legitimate nominee. Of course, the unproclaimed nominee can always contest the Comelec decision by going to the Supreme Court, but everyone knows that takes time and money. Why not just work with the seated representative?

In this pandemic, our greatest possession is our health (mental, emotional, physical), and some senior citizens should not waste it by belittling what Ordanes is already doing for his fellow senior citizens. Let’s give credit to whom it is due.

Not being a senior citizen myself, although I have an octogenarian mother, my wish for all senior citizens this Christmas is trite but heartfelt: Peace on earth and goodwill to all.

Carlo D. Cordova,[email protected]

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TAGS: Comelec, Rep Datol, Rep. Rodolfo Ordanes, Senior Citizens Party-list
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