As of today, Monday, June 13, 100 Liberal Party (LP) members have already moved to PDP-Laban, the political party that is supporting incoming President Rodrigo Duterte and is now dubbed as the “super majority. This was disclosed by Caloocan City Rep. Edgar Erice, a known loyal supporter of LP presidential bet, Mar Roxas.
“I would prefer to be in the minority.” Rep. Erice said, adding that the said LP members are also expected to support the prospective Speakership of Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez in coming 17th Congress. He noted that his decision to be in the minority bloc is to serve as the fiscalizer against the giant party of the incoming Duterte administration.
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With this, only 10 LP members will be left in Congress, including Erice and incumbent House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. As the next ruling party, PDP-Laban is now enjoying a comfortable number of members. This serves as a huge advantage in terms of controlling committee chairmanships and other various leadership posts in Congress.
Late last month, around 80 LP members who recently won congressional seats have reportedly transferred to PDP-Laban. This includes Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas, who is touted to be the next House majority leader. If he will be successful, he will replace Neptali Gonzales II, who is representing the Lone District of Mandaluyong City.
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Early this month, Negros Oriental 3rd District Representative Arnulfo Teves Jr of the Nationalist People’s Coalition and Leyte 3rd District Representative Vicente Veloso (National Unity Party) joined PDP-Laban. They, along with 11 LP members, took oath before Rep. Alvarez, including Queenie Gonzales (Mandaluyong), wife of Gonzales II.
The other LP members are Renato Unico Jr (1st District, Camarines Norte), Cesar Sarmiento (Catanduanes), Lucille Nava (Guimaras), Jerry Treñas (Iloilo City), Jesus Sacdalan (1st District, North Cotabato), Lucy Torres Gomez (4th District, Leyte), Zajid Mangudadatu (2nd District, Maguindanao), Reynaldo Umali (2nd District, Oriental Mindoro), Deogracias Ramos Jr (2nd District, Sorsogon), and Glona Labadlabad (2nd District, Zamboanga del Norte).
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Speaker Belmonte earlier talked with Duterte and confirmed that PDP-Laban and LP are discussing the possibility of coalition of both parties. Meanwhile, Rep. Alvarez said he is expecting more LP members to join them before the next Congress opens on July 25. PDP-Laban has only 3 members during the 2016 elections, while LP has around 116.