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Parang Jalosjos! Fugitive Mikee Romero can serve even in jail

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1-PACMAN Party-list Rep. Enrico Pineda, co-nominee of fugitive lawmaker Mikee Romero, basically said that the latter could do a Romeo Jaloslos–that is, to serve his term as congressman in jail–if he wanted to.

In a fanatical statement of support Monday (March 20), Pineda shot down any possibility that the party-list would replace billionaire Romero even as he remains in hiding.

“We have no intentions of removing Congressman Romero and we will not entertain any move that will call for his ouster from the party and the House of Representatives,” Pineda said.

Pineda went on to downplay Romero’s criminal charge and fugitive status, claiming that a pending criminal complaint “does not ipso facto incapacitate a person to assume as a member of Congress so much so that there are even members of Congress and even the Senate who were allowed to serve their terms while in detention.”

Belonging in this category is the aforementioned former Zamboanga del Norte Rep. Jalosjos, who was sentenced to lifetime imprisonment in 2002 for raping an 11-year old girl in 1996.

He managed to win reelection while in prison. Former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo eventually pardoned him.

Romero was last seen at the House of Representatives (HOR) last December and has not attended a session this year.

Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 11 issued a warrant of arrest against Romero and his two co-accused over a qualified theft case filed by the congressman’s own father, construction magnate Reghis Romero II.

The younger Romero’s case, which concerns the ownership of the lucrative Harbor Centre Port Terminal Inc. (HCPTI) has been deemed non-bailable.

Earlier this month, the same RTC affirmed the politiko’s arrest order.

Rep. Romero allegedly issued on April 27, 2007 some 18 HCPTI checks amounting to P3.4 million payable to non-existent payees.