Ten congressmen, five of them from the erstwhile ruling Liberal Party, bolted their political parties to join President Duterte’s PDP-Laban which now strengthened its grip of the House of Representatives.
House Speaker Pantaleon D. Alvarez administered the oath of membership of the 10 new PDP-Laban members who have vowed to support the Duterte administration’s legislative agenda.
House Deputy Speaker Miro Quimbo, head of the LP contingent in the House, did not hide his disappointment over the decision of the five partymates to jump ship. The move left LP with only 27 members in the chamber, 22 of them included in the PDP-Laban led majority bloc.
“It’s like losing a brother or a sister. It’s doubly more painful, considering that those that have remained, including those that are leaving this afternoon, have been through a lot of trials already,” lamented Quimbo.
He added: “Despite the difficulty of their situation, they decided to stay with the party. So that’s why it’s painful.”
Former LP members who are now in the fold of the PDP-laban are Reps. Ansaruddin Adiong (Lanao del Sur), Nancy Catamco (North Cotabato), Alfred Vargas III (Quezon City), Winston Castelo (Quezon City), and Geraldine Roman (Bataan).
Also joining PDP-Laban were Reps. Xavier Jesus Romualdo (Camiguin), Scott Davies Lanete (Masbate), Divina Grace Yu (Zamboanga del Sur), Munir Arbison (Sulu), and Rodito Albano (Isabela). (Ben R. Rosario)
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