Arroyo, Pacquiao among Congress' top absentees

Yahoo! Southeast Asia Newsroom
Former Philippine president Gloria Arroyo, seen here in February 2012, has registered to run for another term in Congress, despite facing graft charges and claiming to be suffering a serious illness that needs treatment abroad

Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has topped the list of members who had the most number of absences in the House of Representatives for 2012.
 
In the annual attendance record released this week, the House Secretariat said the Pampanga lawmaker incurred a total of 28 absences from January 16 to December 19, 2012.
 
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Arroyo, who represents the second district of Pampanga, was only able to attend 33 out of the 61 total session days in the Lower House last year.
 
The former leader has been going in and out of hospital arrest at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City, following her arrest for electoral sabotage and plunder cases. Reported to have deteriorating health, Arroyo was rushed to VMMC’s intensive care unit after developing ischemia, a condition of dimished blood flow to the heart.
 
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Meanwhile, Iloilo Rep. Augusto Syjuco  and Quezon City Rep. Anna York Bondoc were tied on second and third places in the list of top absentees in the House of Representatives.
 
Syjuco and Bondoc were only able to attend 35 out of 61 session days last year. Bondoc gave birth last September.
 
House records showed both lawmakers incurred a total of 22 absences, of which Bondoc took 16 leaves without notice of absence.
 
Pampanga Rep. Carmelo Lazatin is also among the most truant House members after only managing to show up in 37 session days last year.
 
Meanwhile, Iloilo Rep. Fernejel Biron and Masbate Rep. Narciso Bravo Jr. were present in 40 out 61 session days last year.
 
Filipino boxing sensation Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao still remained in the list of top absentees this year after only managing to attend 41 out of 61 session days last year.
 
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Of the 20 total numbers of absences he incurred, House secretariat said Pacquiao was absent 15 times to do “constituency work” while taking five leaves without proper notice of absences.
 
Last year, Pacquiao suffered one of his most controversial losses to American fighter Timothy Bradley Jr. in June and Mexican counter-puncher Juan Manuel Marquez last December.
 
Negros Occidental Rep. Julio "Jules" Ledesma IV, Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr., Cavite Rep. Erineo Maliksi, and TUCP party-list Rep. Raymond Mendoza attended the same numbers of session with Pacquiao.

On the other hand, House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. and House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez posted the perfect attendance last year.