Party-list bloc backs Alvarez, seeks juicy positions
The 37-member party-list coalition in the 17th Congress signed on Tuesday a coalition agreement with Davao Del Norte Rep. Pantaelon “Bebot” Alvarez, the pick of presumptive president-elect Rodrigo Duterte as Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Alvarez and members of the coalition showed their clenched fists — symbolic of Duterte’s signature pose — after the signing.
The party-list groups expressed support for Alvarez after he promised a “fair and equitable distribution” of committee leadership to members of the coalition.
In an interview, coalition president Agap Rep. Nicanor Briones said party-list members who represent marginalized sectors in Congress deserved to get juicy positions in major congressional committees.
According to the agreement, the party-list bloc “manifested its support to the next Speaker, Pantaleon Alvarez, who promised fair and equitable distribution of positions including committee chairpersonships to the coalition.”
It also said that the “coalition has expressed its support to the incoming Duterte administration by vowing to constructively cooperate in pushing for its legislative agenda in the House of Representatives.”
Duterte’s legislative agenda includes the reinstatement of death penalty and the revision of the 1987 Constitution to change the country’s government from unitary to federal.
Briones said the party-list bloc supported Duterte’s advocacy of federalism to decentralize government to make governance felt by the marginalized sectors.
But Briones said the bloc was split on death penalty, citing Buhay party-list which by its name already is pro-life.
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