LP-PDP-Laban coalition may not materialize – Belmonte LP-PDP-Laban coalition may not materialize – Belmonte Philippine Star

LP-PDP-Laban coalition may not materialize – Belmonte

The proposed coalition between the Liberal Party (LP) and the incoming ruling PDP-Laban may not materialize, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said yesterday.

Belmonte said he could not accept the plan of the group of Davao del Norte representative-elect Pantaleon Alvarez to reduce the LP membership that would coalesce with PDP-Laban to just 20.

“In that case, I can’t be a member of such group,” he said.

He added the plan to cut them to “bite-size” is the reason the coalition talks have bogged down.

It was Alvarez who described the residual LP group as bite-size.

Belmonte pointed out the outgoing ruling party should be treated like other political groups that have allied themselves with PDP-Laban to form the incoming administration’s supermajority in the House of Representatives.

“If we can be at par with the other groups, then it’s a real option for me to be the head of the Liberal members who would like to be part of the majority coalition,” he stressed.

Alvarez is the choice of president-elect Rodrigo Duterte for Speaker in the 17th Congress.

Belmonte said the coalition talks still have a long way to go.

“At the moment, we have not yet signed or come to any agreement with the majority group because there are various decisions to make,” he said.

The groups that have entered an alliance with PDP-Laban without being reduced to bite-size are the Nacionalista Party of former senator Manuel Villar Jr.; Nationalist People’s Coalition, which is identified with billionaire businessmen Eduardo Cojuangco Jr. and Ramon Ang; and the National Union Party, whose members are mostly loyalists of former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Ifugao Rep. Teodoro Baguilat Jr., a Liberal Party member, has revealed the Alvarez group has set conditions for those who want to join the so-called supermajority.

He said aside from supporting the legislative agenda of the next administration, PDP-Laban would like defectors to formally join the incoming administration party.

“They would like those joining the supermajority to take their oath as PDP-Laban members,” he said.

This particular condition has given many LP members a dilemma, since they would like to join the supermajority but at the same time keep their LP membership, he said.

Baguilat added that the LP “is not getting fair treatment.”

“There is no offer of a deputy speakership and committee posts from the presumptive Speaker, unlike the parties, which have all signed an alliance agreement with PDP-Laban. Once the signing was over, they got their deputy speakership post and committee assignments,” he said.

Baguilat said Alvarez is treating LP members “as second-class citizens.”

He urged his remaining LP colleagues not to defect to the incoming ruling party and to join him in the minority.

“Sure, the majority can reduce us to ‘bite-size,’ but we will be a strong and fearless opposition,” he said, recalling Alvarez’s description of what would remain of the LP after the defections.


Read 2200 times Last modified on Monday, 27 June 2016 15:26
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