‘Authentic minority bloc’ wants piece of House leadership
The House of Representatives’ “Magnificent 7” opposition bloc will actively vie for the leadership of the chamber’s minority, Albay First District Rep. Edcel Lagman asserted on Wednesday.
“The Magnificent 7 will actively vie for the leadership of the minority,” Lagman, head of the opposition bloc, said in a statement, adding they have been the “authentic minority bloc” in the House since the start of the 17th Congress.
The opposition lawmaker said Liberal Party members who abstained from voting for Speaker, together with others who likewise abstained, “constitute the legitimate minority consistent with House Rules and recent jurisprudence.”
But Lagman vowed that the Magnificent 7 opposition group would remain “firmly and fiercely intact” regardless of the outcome of the contest for institutional minority leadership in the wake of the change of command in the House.
Former President now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo sealed her return to power after 184 House members voted her as new Speaker on Monday night, ending Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez’s two-year grip on the post.
The Magnificent 7 consists of Lagman, Akbayan Rep. Tomasito Villarin, Caloocan City Rep. Edgardo Erice, Magdalo Rep. Gary C. Alejano Sr., Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat Jr., Northern Samar Rep. Raul Daza, and Capiz Rep. Emmanuel Billones.
While the speakership changed, Lagman pointed out that the unqualified support of the majority for President Rodrigo Duterte’s agenda on Charter change, disregard of human rights, violent anti-illegal drugs campaign, appeasement of China in the West Philippine Sea, and unresponsive and flawed economic policies, among others, remain the same.
Aside from the Magnificent 7, Deputy Speaker Miro Quimbo earlier bared that the Liberal Party House members are planning to form the minority bloc.
Meanwhile, incumbent Minority Leader Danilo Suarez said they would write to Macapagal-Arroyo to retain the current minority bloc members. /jpv
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