Bro. Mike Seeks Party-List Seat

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

MANILA, March 23, 2010-After backing out from the presidential race, Charismatic leader Bro. Mike Velarde is eyeing a congressional seat through the party list.

El Shaddai Charismatic group spokesman Mel Robles confirmed that Velarde and his son Rene are among the nominees of Buhay party-list.

"Yes, Bro. Mike is among the nominees," Robles said.

But the older Velarde, he said, only intends to be the party's 5th nominee. In other words, the influential religious leader is just a reserve in case their first, second, or third nominees were disqualified.

A party-list group, representing a marginalized sector, must get two percent of the total votes cast in the May 14 elections to obtain one seat in the House of Representatives; a maximum of three seats is allowed for any party-list group.

"There are only three seats for each party-list groups and Bro. Mike is only the 5th nominee and he wanted it that way," Robles said.

In the last May 14, 2007 elections, Buhay party clinched the top position in the party list system after scoring 1,169,165 or 7.4 percent of the total votes cast giving them three seats in Congress.

Rene who is Bro. Mike's son, Ma. Carissa Coscuella, and William Irwin Tieng were the nominees in the 2007 polls of Buhay party.

According to Robles, Rep. Coscuella was no longer included in the list of nominees that they submitted to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) the other day.

However, he refused to give the three other names of the Buhay party nominees saying it is up to the poll body now.

Buhay is a party that takes on an advocacy against abortion and the use of contraception in family planning, the aged, the sick, the disabled and other people who otherwise cannot have the capacity to protect themselves alone.

Independent presidential candidate Sen. Maria Ana Consuelo "Jamby" Madrigal accused Velarde of corruption and linked him to the anomalous C5 road diversion project of another presidential aspirant Manny Villar of Nacionalista party. (CBCPNews)