MANILA, Philippines?Some 30 congressmen from the administration party Lakas-Kampi-Christian Muslim Democrats have expressed interest in crossing over to the Liberal Party (LP), a move that could bolster the bid of congressman-elect Feliciano Belmonte Jr. for the speakership, according to the spokesman of the party
Quezon province Representative Lorenzo ?Erin? Tañada III said the 30 Lakas-Kampi lawmakers have ?indicated their desire? to join the LP for the 15th Congress.
?There are 30 Lakas members who have been talking to our leaders through different personalities . . . indicating their desire to join the Liberal Party (LP),? he said in a phone interview, adding that the party is studying carefully the case of the 30 congressmen.
In a meeting Wednesday night, Belmonte, the outgoing mayor of Quezon City, was unanimously endorsed by members as the party?s candidate for Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Tañada, who earlier expressed interest in the speakership, said he yielded to Belmonte to consolidate the party.
?The yielding part is immaterial in the sense that I have always said that I will support whoever will be chosen by the party,? Tañada said.
When asked, Tañada said he was not keen on a Cabinet position, stressing he could not leave his constituents who elected him unanimously.
At present, there are 46 LP members. Tañada said they need at least 144 votes to get the speakership.
He said the new members from Lakas-Kampi and several others from the party-list groups would boost Belmonte?s chances.
The party is also open to coalescing with other parties such as the Nationalist Peoples Coalition and the Nacionalista Party in the next Congress, he said.