LP official: Suarez as minority leader destroys checks and balances at lower House
Liberal Party (LP) Vice President for external affairs Erin Tañada said that the election of Rep. Danilo Suarez as majority leader creates a “mutual admiration club” at the House of Representatives as both majority and minority leaders are allied with the administration.
“With Rep. Danilo Suarez’s tight grip on the post of Minority Leader, the entire House of Representatives is tarnished anew with the image of being fake, subservient, and uncritical,” Tañada said in a statement on Tuesday.
“Instead of a vibrant and deliberative chamber, we will continue to have a mutual admiration club,” he added.
Suarez was installed as minority leader during a House regular session on Tuesday afternoon, through a viva voce or by ayes and nays. Some lawmakers objected to the voting process, while others said it was illegal.
Rule II Section 8 of the House rules states that only “members who vote for the winning candidate for Speaker shall constitute the Majority in the House.” Suarez endorsed Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as Speaker, and voted for her on two occasions — one before and one after the 2018 State of the Nation Address.
According to Tañada, LP members will challenge the majority by staying as opposition members of the House.
“Despite this development, we, the Liberal Party members and our allies, will function as the real opposition bloc that is responsible and representative, carrying the voice of the people in issues such as the rising prices of commodities, extra-judicial killings, and unjust taxes,” he said.
He added that they are mulling whether there is a need to bring the matter to a higher court.
“And, as jurisprudence on the matter of electing the minority leader is on our side, with an earlier Supreme Court ruling, we will consolidate our thoughts in deciding about bringing this matter before the courts,” he said.
Earlier, LP Chairman and Vice President Leni Robredo denounced Suarez’ speakership, saying it is a violation of the rules of the House itself.
“Lubhang nakalulungkot ang nangyari ngayong hapon sa Kamara: ang paghirang ng Majority kay Rep. Danilo Suarez bilang Minority Leader, kahit na isa siya sa mga pangunahing sumuporta at bumoto para sa bagong Speaker (What happened this afternoon at the House of Representatives is sad. Rep. Danilo Suarez was installed as minority leader even as he voted for the new Speaker),” Robredo said in a statement on Tuesday. /ee
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