District III PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 21 April 2016 13:10

BEHIND  THE  LINES

BY BOB JALDON

Los Angeles, CA. — Our leaders forgot about this: redistricting Zamboanga to create a third district.

Whoever wins on May 9 should seriously buckle down to real legislative work by authoring a bill that will create a third  congressional district. Zamboanga is qualified to have one more district because its population has ballooned to more than 800,000 since the last census, although the number of registered voters versus the number of qualified voters has a huge disparity.

In so doing, the political configuration of Zamboanga will dramatically change because a shift in the political clout will come about: two large zones going to the third district that will command a huge number of mixed votes and will corner big businesses that contribute a big chunk of money to certain political individuals.

The law makes it clear that congressional districts should be equally apportioned to suit the population. Meaning, congressional districts should have equal number of people, or approximately near in terms of number of people.

In a representative government such as ours, it follows that politicians should represent everybody, not just a preferred segment of society, meaning the voters. The people who can’t vote — children, students, non-residents, prisoners, ex-convicts — all have the right to representation whenever government policies are drawn and resources are being allocated.

Should there be any opposition to such a proposition (I hope none), a court challenge can ensue by a dissatisfied population wishing to have its own district. When the next congress opens, the winners should legislate to redistrict Zamboanga for it to have a wider representation in the House and, therefore, be benefitted from additional congressional allocations for light and heavy infrastructure to push our economy forward faster.

The U.S. Supreme Court said in 1964: “The fundamental principle of representative government in this country (USA) is one of equal representation for equal numbers of property owners, of eligible voters, or some other subset.”

We should adhere to representational equality so that more voices can be heard and resonate to as far as Malacanang Palace. Long have we been overlooked by the national government that some stupidly think that Federalism is the answer to better governance.

We should re-draw the map of highly-urbanized Zamboanga using the expertise of the city planning and development office to restructure our political lines. Yes, the weight and meaning of anyone’s vote must depend on where he/she resides or lives.

Mr. Celso L. Lobregat and Mrs. Lilia Nuno (or Monsi dela Cruz and Mannix Dalipe) should give what the people deserve. That should also limit their supervisorial and congressional responsibilities and still have congressional allocations for initiated projects. It will also change the voting trends in the two districts. And lastly, it will make future campaigns less expensive.