PDP-Laban presses members to confirm affiliation as some solons join NUP
MANILA, Philippines — The Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) is asking its members to confirm their membership in the ruling political party chaired by President Rodrigo Duterte, a text message from the party’s national headquarters has bared.
“Good day! The PDP Laban NHQ is updating its official membership database in the House of Representatives. May we confirm your membership with the PDP Laban? Thank you,” reads the message sent by a source.
This comes as 14 sitting PDP Laban congressmen jumped ship to the National Unity Party (NUP) and took their oath on Tuesday morning.
Some congressmen take their oath as new member of NUP. Among them are Reps. Benny Abante, Rida Robes, Edgar Sarmiento, & Horacio Suansing. pic.twitter.com/QiDYLu2DUU
— Path Roxas (@PathRoxasINQ) August 6, 2019
PDP-Laban president, Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, confirmed the message but downplayed it as a periodic updating of party membership.
“Updating of party membership is done periodically. Coz we all know the ‘level of party politics here n our country’,” Pimentel told INQUIRER.net in a text message.
Pimentel also said the attendance of party members in the celebration party for Sen. Manny Pacquiao on Wednesday evening would have no bearing. A source said only 50 of the more than 80 PDP Laban House members have confirmed their attendance for tomorrow’s gathering.
“Celebration party po ‘yun bukas. For Manny Pacquiao. Attendance and non-attendance have no implication,” he said.
In a tweet on Sunday, PDP-Laban Public Information chief Ronwald Munsayac reacted to earlier reports that claimed some 30 disgruntled party members were set to leave the group.
“If true, the party leadership has yet to confirm the identities of those rumored to resign from the PDP-Laban,” Munsayac said.
“This is politics and we respect the decision of all our members. I’m sure they will still be friends and allies of the Duterte administration,” he added.
The 14 active House members who shifted alliance to NUP are the following:
John Mark Nieto,
Joy Tambunting and
Albano was elected vice president of the party, while Garcia was chosen VP for Visayas and Ong VP for local governance.
In an interview, Albano said that aside from the position offered to him, he chose to join NUP so he could have a “bigger voice.”
“This is very important for us neophyte congressmen to actually have a bigger voice in crafting legislation for the President. In PDP where it is a very large and dominant party at that, I will be swimming among big fishes and my voice might not be heard,” he said.
Misunderstandings in PDP Laban
Robes meanwhile revealed that there were misunderstandings among some members of PDP-Laban in the House which stemmed from the distribution of committee chairmanships and memberships.
“Kanya-kanya kami ng trabaho… so ang feeling lang ng iba, maybe, sinasabi nila, bakit ako wala pa eh… you really have to wait kung kailan ka mabibigyan ng committee. So siguro dun talaga nagkakaroon ng konting higing higing na meron talagang paksyon,” said Robes, who got the chairmanship of the people’s participation panel while she was a PDP Laban member.
NUP as new ruling party?
Ronaldo Puno, who retained his chairmanship in NUP, meanwhile, shot down claims that they want to become the new ruling party in the House, saying they have limited their members to 50-55. Puno’s brother, Roberto, is Antipolo 1st District’s representative.
“We never aspired to be the main party in the chamber that’s why they decided to limit the membership,” Puno said after their event graced by Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.
“Actually, our members have doubled because I think mainly of the support for Speaker (Alan) Cayetano. Many of us have worked together during the early days of the Congress to help elect the new speaker so I think this camaraderie led to an increase in our members,” he said.
The NUP chair also affirmed their commitment to support the term sharing agreement between Cayetano and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco.
“We were committed and firm in following the directions of the President then, the same today…” he added.
The party adopted Davao 1st District Rep. Paolo “Pulong” Duterte as its member but he was a no-show at today’s election and oath-taking due to a family-related event.
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