Port magnate sails to Congress

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PORT tycoon Michael “Mikee” Romero and at least two of his colleagues are on their way to the House of Representatives as representatives of marginalized sectors.

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Romero is the first nominee of the 1-Pacman party-list (One Patriotic Coalition of Marginalized Nationals) which garnered 1.29 million votes in the party-list race,  behind long-timers Gabriela (1.34 million) and Ako Bicol (1.63 million).

Based on its campaign advertisement, 1-Pacman will push for the interests of athletes, youth, fisherfolk, farmers and others in dire straits. Romero was endorsed by the players of the basketball and volleyball teams he own: Gilas players Jason Castro, Terrence Romeo, Marc Pingris, volleyball stars Rachel Daquis and Aby Maraño and actor John Estrada, among others.

But even without a congressional post, Romero is already one of the most powerful and wealthy men in the country. He is the Chairman of the Board of Globalport 900, Inc., the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Harbour Centre Port Terminal, Inc., Chairman of Manila North Harbour Port, Inc., Chairman of Mikro-tech Capital, Inc., CEO of Pacifica, Inc., Chairman of 168 Ferrum Pacific Mining Corporation and Vice Chairman of Air Asia Philippines.

In a Supreme Court ruling issued in April 2013, the High Court declared that organizations and regional parties do not need to organize along sectoral lines and do not need to represent any marginalized and underrepresented sector to be qualified to run for a party-list seat—a ruling that virtually allows everybody to vie for the party-list seat in Congress.

1-Pacman topped the party-list race in Cebu City, garnering 131,309 votes there. It also topped the party-list derby in Rizal province with 72,879 votes, and landed third in 1.8 million-strong Cavite, with 63,117 votes.

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