THE Marino party-list is set to replace its second nominee, Antonio Lopez, who resigned after only three session days of the 18th Congress due to personal reasons.
Rep. Sandro L. Gonzalez, the group’s first nominee, announced yesterday that Macnell Lusotan will assume the post as the second representative of the party-list.
Lusotan is expected to be sworn in by Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano when the House resumes session on November 4.
“I am humbled by the trust and confidence given to me by the Marino party-list. I assure all stakeholders in the maritime industry that with my assumption, the party-list will be twice as effective in the performance of its duties,” Lusotan said.
Marino had won two seats in the 2019 elections, but Lopez resigned in the face of a disqualification case filed before the Commission on Election (Comelec) where was accused of being an American citizen.
A certain Ruther Navera Flores filed the case against Lopez last June 26 for violations of Section 68 of the Omnibus Elections Code and Section 9 of the Republic Act No. 7941 or the Party-list System Act.
“We welcome the Comelec decision which paves the way for Congressman Lusotan to assume the second seat that the people have given our party-list. In behalf of all the members of the Marino Party-list, I thank the Comelec for recognizing the will of the people while at the same time upholding the rule of law in effecting this substitution,” said Gonzalez.
Lusotan’s assumption of office was cited by Commissioner Rowena Guanzon in a Senate hearing as an example of a substitution compliant with the Comelec’s rules and regulations.
The Marino Party-list, through its representative Sandro Gonzalez, has already filed three major measures to address the plight of seafarers, namely, HB 2317, or the Department of Overseas Filipinos Act; HB 2318, or the Magna Carta of Filipino Seafarers; and House Resolution 71, which calls on the Inter-Agency Council on The International Maritime Organization (IMO) Member State Audit Scheme to provide regular reports to Congress.