PDP-Laban seeks Belmonte’s inclusion in majority bloc
The Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), the political group of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, is eyeing the possibility of getting Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. into the new majority bloc in the House of Representatives since many of his party mates in the Liberal Party (LP) have already jumped to the incoming administration.
In fact, Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, Duterte’s anointed candidate for speakership in the 17th Congress, has said he was supposed to meet with Belmonte this Thursday to discuss a possible coalition with LP but the meeting did not push through.
Belmonte, vice chair of LP, has already conceded the speakership to Alvarez.
“Yes nag-uusap kami ni Speaker Belmonte,” Alvarez said at a press conference in Makati City after sealing an alliance with the National Unity Party (NUP).
“Pag-uusapan ’yung coalition agreement,” he said when asked what should have been the agenda of their meeting.
Alvarez said there were “suggestions” for the two parties to form a coalition but they have yet to agree on it.
Asked if PDP-Laban was open to the idea, Alvarez said: “As long as they will support the majority and the programs of the incoming administration why not?”
Asked again if part of the discussions was Belmonte joining the new majority bloc in the House of Representatives, Alvarez said: “Yes we’re considering that.”
“That’s always an option for Speaker Belmonte and I would welcome kung ano man ang maging decision nya,” he added.
He said Belmonte did not need to leave the LP if he wanted to join the majority group.
Pending the coalition talks between the two groups, more LP members have defected to Duterte’s group.
The latest were Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali, Leyte Rep. Lucy Torres, Catanduanes Rep. Cesar Sarmiento, and Iloilo Rep. Jerry Treñas, among others./rga
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