REP. Julio "Jules" Ledesma IV of Negros Occidental is remembered as the bachelor who married in 2004 sexy movie star Assunta de Rossi.

Now, he's better known as the House member who's "No. 1 absentee" of the House.

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People may forget he was responsible for the operation of the San Carlos City clean-energy, co-generation plant, the first in the country. The plant boosts the local economy as it enables Negros landowners covered by land reform to supply sugarcane to the plant.

Oddly, we recall leaders more by what landed them in the news than what they accomplished.

Ledesma can't argue with that. His marriage to Rossi drew more attention and collected more votes than anything else he had or did. Now he is top absentee: That, not his energy plant, puts him on Page 1.

Can he stay out of sessions because he did something big for his district? What benefit he secured for the Negros folk flowed from membership with the House, which he sullies by playing hooky.

Their voice

Most people believe (1) House members are primarily lawmakers and (2) each congressman represents his constituents: he’s their voice.

A cynical view is that House sessions have been a sham with many members who just answer the roll call and vanish, don't attend committee hearings, and co-sign bills even if they were written on toilet paper.

No reason for staying away. There are bad congressmen, so he wants to be bad too?

And it isn't an "either-or" thing. Ledesma needs to do both: attend sessions and serve constituents.

If he can't, he knows what he must give up. We all assume it won't be hot Assunta.

(paseares@yahoo.com)