Baguilat cries foul over game fixing in minority leader elections | Inquirer News

Baguilat cries foul over game fixing in minority leader elections

/ 04:07 PM July 25, 2016

Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat cried foul over the supposed “machination” of the emerging majority in the 17th Congress to rig the minority leader elections to have a “coopted” minority bloc in the House of Representatives.

During the elections for Speaker, Baguilat got the second highest votes in the Speakership race with eight votes, followed by Quezon Rep. Danny Suarez who got seven votes.

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Suarez supposedly was the pick of elected Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez to lead the minority in Congress for the bloc to be cooperative with the majority coalition of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Alvarez won as Speaker with 251 lawmakers. At least 21 lawmakers voted to abstain.

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READ: Alvarez elected next Speaker in 17th Congress

Baguilat said he should have handily won the minority race having gotten the second highest votes for speaker, as per the rules of previous Congresses.

But during the session, Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Farinas, the presumptive majority leader, acting as presiding majority floor leader said the rules state that the majority and minority leader would be elected by members of the emerging majority and minority bloc in Congress.

The majority bloc comprises the lawmakers who voted for the winning Speaker, while the minority bloc comprises the solons who voted for the losing speaker contenders.

Baguilat said the scheme forms part of a sinister plot to propel Suarez as minority leader for the bloc to be a cooperative bloc instead of being the opposition.

“They presented a new set of rules. Ako kasi marami nang kuro kuro (Because I already had speculations). The anointed one is Danny Suarez, but they weren’t sure of their numbers,” Baguilat said.

“As (Navotas Rep.) Toby Tiangco stated yesterday, there seems to be a move to fix the elections,” he added.

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READ: Alvarez denies leading ‘co-opted’ minority

Baguilat said what the majority-led coalition initially planned was to lend some of its members to vote for Suarez as the minority bloc.

He said this scheme was too obvious and so these members opted instead to abstain from voting and later they would vote for Suarez as the minority leader.

“It was a surprise for me to see people who expected to join the majority, suddenly abstained… May mga kuro kuro na you have a reserve vote, mag-abstain muna tayo just to make sure (There are speculations that you have a reserve vote, and you should abstain just to make sure),” Baguilat said.

“They really wanted to come out with a coopted minority. You cannot just [do that], it really requires a lot of machinations. The best way is mag-abstain muna yung iba (for others to abstain first),” he added. CDG

READ: Duterte gov’t eyes proactive collaboration with Senate, Congress

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TAGS: 17th Congress, Election, House of Representatives, minority leader, Pantaleon Alvarez, Teddy Baguilat
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