LP mulls joining House majority bloc; attends Romualdez-led caucus
Updated (8:00 p.m.)
MANILA, Philippines — The 18-man opposition Liberal Party (LP) is considering the possibility of joining the majority bloc in the 18th Congress, Caloocan City 2nd District Rep. Edgar Erice revealed Wednesday.
Erice, LP’s Secretary-General and Quezon City 6th District Rep. Jose Christopher Belmonte, and Northern Samar 1st District Rep. Paul Daza attended the caucus called by Speaker aspirant and Leyte 1st District Rep.-elect Martin Romualdez in Quezon City.
“We had a caucus. Majority of us decided ang preference namin is (that our preference is) to join the majority provided that we’ll be allowed to express our views, to vote for our advocacies against… death penalty, lowering the age of criminal liability, charter change, federalism,” Erice said in an interview after the meeting.
Asked if he sees no conflict in forming a possible alliance with Romualdez, he answered: “We’re doing this for our members.”
Erice, who was former Sen. Mar Roxas’ campaign manager in May 2019 polls, also said LP plans to vote as a bloc during the election of the next Speaker at the opening of the next Congress on July 22. Under the rules of the chamber, those who voted for the winning candidate would become part of the majority, while those who did not would join the minority bloc.
But the Caloocan representative stressed that they would support the Speaker aspirant who would accept their advocacies and respect their core values, which he admitted are mostly “directly opposite to the President’s agenda.”
He also said they talked to other contenders for the position like Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco.
Romualdez, in a press conference, said he’s open to discussing the conditions set by the LP members.
“We’re open to discussions… We shall be very open, fair and mindful to the sensitivities of each and every individual congressman… because these are sensitive issues,” he said. (Editor: Eden Estopace)
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