“Ay te,” a very common Ilonggo expression venting off exasperation and a bit of ridicule. And that is what most of us will feel about this.

Most of us when absent from work will not receive any pay on the particular days we were absent. No work, no pay for most average Pinoy toiling each day in order to provide for all the basic needs of the family.

But that is not the case for the “most notorious chronic absentee” lawmaker in town, may kababayan Rep. Jules Ledesma IV of the 1st district of Negros Occidental. Despite being a total non-entity in Congress even the most crucial legislations being debated on the floor, he is still set to receive his entire salary, bonuses and perks (pork barrel) so long as he attends the last two sessions of the 14th Congress as has been “requested” by the Speaker himself Prospero Nograles. Wow, this is I think the best job in the world, when being absent, your boss is requesting you to attend the last two working days in order for you to receive your full salary and bonuses.

The notorious representative Ledesma who is also the husband of sexy actress Assunta da Rossi and by the way one of the richest lawmaker with a net worth of P427.529 million even insisted that his laziness on attending the sessions in Congress has made him work harder for his constituents, and that he was “neither frivolous nor whimsical” about his notoriety. Only that he worked harder outside the halls of the Lower House near the comfort of his home. Maybe, the effect of marrying a sexy and younger wife? We can never can tell.

“In spirit and in substance, what I have done for my district cannot be denied,” said Ledesma as he argued that he was the one who really worked hard for the establishment of the San Carlos bio-energy plant, the first clean energy generation plant in the country, that in the end will make himself also a big beneficiary of the project being a haciendero in the province.

For now there are still no laws or ways for absenteeism in Congress to be punished (and I think this law will never be proposed by lawmakers), nor any leaders who have the will to discipline their fellow legislators. While people are working really hard everyday for a meager pay, our leaders are having a great time on their posts without being held accountable for their shortcomings.

Maybe he does not need anymore the salary for being so rich? Nah, then he should have not ran for office if he cannot even fulfill the most basic of things written on his job description.

This is where the great divide and obvious insensitivity of government leaders to the plight of the people has become clearer; on how they spend the hard-earned tax-payers money to paychecks of lazy officials and their capricious adventures while they always prey on the theme of knowing, feeling, and being with the poor when election day comes. Could be one of the greatest insult too I guess, when the citizens are already being robbed by their leaders of their hard-earned money and then also being used to perpetuate in power.

Maybe Jules Ledesma should try this time around to be a little bit lazy on helping his constituents in order the be industrious on fulfilling his obligation in congress; of simply just run for a local government post as maybe he was confused as to the real and main duty of legislators.

Hay, kababayan, even our school children are expelled from school for excessive absences, not a great example to the youth huh…you may know by now what could be a great New Year’s resolution.

What is your thought about the post, does Rep. Ledesma deserve to get his full salary, bonuses and perks despite being the most notorious absentee in congress? What should be done to him instead?

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