Liberal Party not aggressively recruiting—Belmonte



House Speaker Sonny Belmonte. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

The ruling Liberal Party (LP) is not “aggressively recruiting” new members in the House of Representatives, but those who share its vision and commitment are welcome to join the majority coalition, said House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr.

Belmonte, the LP vice chairman, on Wednesday sought to dispel rumors that the LP was targeting members of other political parties ahead of President Benigno Aquino’s  State of the Nation Address (Sona) on July 23.

“When I took over, it was possible to recruit [them] because virtually all of them were volunteering to join the LP,” Belmonte said.

But he noted that up to now, there were only 87 LP party members out of 284 House representatives, “evidence that we are not trying to recruit anybody or trying to get anybody.”

Welcome to join

“[But] if they want to join and they are compatible with us, then okay,” he said.

But Belmonte would encourage those from the formerly dominant Lakas party who want to join the majority bloc to just form their own group, and not join the LP.

“Those people [former Lakas members turned LP] represent their constituents. They are not necessarily supporters of anybody,” he said.

He said a local official has to have a good relationship with people in the administration, “whoever they may be,” in order to get the most for his constituents, citing his own experience as Quezon City mayor.

“It does not necessarily mean that they are subservient, or they will be later blacklisted or anything like that. In many cases, those local government units require national aid. It’s a necessity,” he said.

For the 2013 elections, Belmonte said the LP would like its candidates to come from its own majority coalition in the House.

Not having opposition candidates would not be healthy for the country, he said.

“It is necessary that an alternative will be presented as well,” he said.

Belmonte recalled that when he became Speaker, it was suggested that everyone in the House just get together as one group, but he rejected it.

“We have to have opposition in the House. It can’t be that all of us are from the majority coalition,” he said.

He said the present House setup is “more or less okay” with the once-dominant Lakas, which started out with 120 House members, now down to 30, thereby constituting the opposition.

Keen observer

Meanwhile, former senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr. is keenly observing what becomes of the proposal floated by San Juan Representative JV Ejercito for the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) to form a “super coalition” with the LP.

“[It] would be interesting to see what Erap [deposed President Joseph Estrada] and Senator Jinggoy Estrada will now do that their own kin (JV) suggests coalescing with the Liberal Party,” said Pimentel.

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  • Zenaida Francisco

    maniniwala lang ako saiyo bastat tanggalin mo yun mga inisyal mong SB sa mga school,patrol car,barangay service,parang pera mo ang ipinapagawa,ipinanbili mo rito ah.

  • kilabot

    dahil marami sa inyo may malakas na name-recall: tupas, quimbo, tanada,angara, umali, banal, diaz, morales, keh, aguirre, etc.. panchito look-alike shows confidence in red-district influence.

  • levis2012

    These Estradas’ must be eradicated from Philippine politics… Erap had his time, but squandered his opportunity by his lack of integrity by saying that he is for the POOR or masa, but his actions proved that he plundered the coffers of the country.. a convicted plunderer… Only a FOOL can be fooled “again” by ERAP… jingoy was also involved in Juetengate, another hypocrite and have a record of shenanigans in government.. Only  their showbiz popularity are saving them, despite their pathetic record and performance in government service… UNA is doomed!!

  • Jon

    Itsa lang kayo ng pera ng adminstrasyon ng parang walang bukas.
    Tiyak marami pa ring mga buwaya at linta na kakagat sa panunuhol mo.
    Tutal di nyo naman pera yan kundi sa taongbayan; kaya sige, ipambili nyo ng politiko.  

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