Members of the once-mighty Liberal Party in the House of Representatives may not join the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan-led super majority after all.
Remnants of the LP at the House continue to reject presumptive Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez’s supposed requirement to reduce LP membership to a measly 20 representatives before joining the super majority.
A House member who attended a key LP meeting at the EDSA Shangrila Hotel in Mandaluyong City Thursday afternoon claimed that the growing sentiment of their group right now is to ditch PDP-Laban’s coalition and form the minority bloc.
The congressman, who requested anonymity, noted that joining the coalition with just 20 to 25 members would only render the LP insignificant, if not inutile.
“Clearly the classic divide and rule tactic is being applied to us,” the congressman said. “If we will be reduced even to 25 members, there is no good reason to join the super majority because we will be left out in the distribution of committee chairmanships and even representation to Commission on Appointments,” added the LP solon.
As per custom in the House, political parties with less than 25 stalwarts are not entitled to a committee chairmanship.
CA representation requires 1/12 of the 300-member House or 25 legislators.
At least 30 LP members took part in the meeting Thursday.
Outgoing Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., a vice chairman of LP, said that there used to be 106 of them during the previous 16th Congress.
President Duterte is a party mate and longtime friend of Alvarez who represents Davao del Norte’s first district. Duterte’s predecessor, former President Aquino, is LP chairman. (Ellson A. Quismorio)