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Who Is Rodante Marcoleta?

Here's a brief history of Rodante Marcoleta's politics.
IMAGE Wikimedia Commons, House of Representatives
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As the nation closely watched the prolonged hearings on the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise, one man became the central figure opposing the network’s return to the airwaves: SAGIP partylist representative Rodante Marcoleta. Marcoleta was the most vocal lawmaker opposing the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN.

Throughout the hearings, he questioned various issues surrounding ABS-CBN, including the citizenship of Eugenio “Gabby” Lopez III, the network’s Filipino ownership, ABS-CBN’s 50-year operation that is allegedly against the constitution, and the legality of the reacquisition of ABS-CBN by the Lopez family in 1986 after it was forcibly taken from them by President Marcos’ cronies during martial law.

All of these were refuted by ABS-CBN president and CEO Carlo Katigbak.

Ironically, it was Marcoleta who sought to allow dual citizens to run and hold positions in public office without renouncing their foreign citizenship.

It was also Marcoleta who authored the franchises for other broadcasting networks that have been in operation for more than 50 years. These include Bohol Chronicle Radio Corporation, Rajah Broadcasting Network, and TV5. Marcoleta is also a principal author of the franchise of GMA Network.

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So who exactly is Rodante Marcoleta, and what are his history and political background?

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Rodante Marcoleta was behind the proposed P1,000 Budget of the CHR.

In 2017, Marcoleta proposed to allot P1,000 for the annual budget of the Commision on Human Rights (CHR) because it allegedly did not protect President Rodrigo Duterte’s human rights when he was criticized for his bloody war on drugs.

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Marcoleta is the representative of 1-SAGIP, a partylist that represents the urban poor. He was elected SAGIP representative in 2016.

According to its website, SAGIP envisions a pro-poor Philippines. Prior to becoming SAGIP’s representative, Marcoleta was the representative of Alagad partylist. He held the position from 2004 to 2007 and 2009 to 2013.

In 2016, he joined Duterte’s supermajority bloc and has been one of the staunchest supporters of the president in the House of Representatives.

Rodante Marcoleta is a member of Iglesia ni Cristo.

Marcoleta’s former partylist Alagad is associated with Iglesia ni Cristo (INC). But even after he left Alagad, Marcoleta admitted that his votes in Congress always depended on the instructions of INC’s leaders.

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During the impeachment trial of deceased former Chief Justice Renato Corona in 2012, Marcoleta joined the administration’s huddle in forming the case against Corona.

But Marcoleta issued a disclaimer, saying “They will tell me how I'm going to vote. My consultation with them has no bearing.”

Marcoleta also voted for the following landmark bills.

In 2017, Marcoleta was among the 54 legislators in the House of Representatives who voted against the reimposition of the death penalty. They were outvoted by 214 legislators who were in favor of the death penalty.

Marcoleta also voted in favor of free tuition in college and the controversial Reproductive Health bill. He also co-authored the bill on free basic medicine services for Filipinos and the magna carta for the poor, among others.

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Mario Alvaro Limos
Features Editor, Esquire Philippines
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