Duterte Party: Suddenly, the gang's all here

Rodrigo Duterte, Pantaleon Alvarez and Koko Pimentel (Composite Photo)

The winds of change are slowly blowing, threatening to alter the political landscape of the 17th Congress even before it convenes on June 30.

All of a sudden, the ruling Liberal Party is breaking into parts as a result of the defeat of its standard bearer, former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, in the May 9 elections, and the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino, the once-ragtag party of now front runner, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, is fast shaping up to be the dominant party.

On the surface, Roxas’s party mates are set to dominate the 17th Congress, comprising a quarter of the Senate and almost half of the over 200-man House of Representatives, based on partial and unofficial results of 96.14 percent of election returns from the Comelec Transparency Server as of 8:45 am, May 18.

WHO’S IN, WHO’S OUT

But this early, some of these LP members have pledged support for the incoming Duterte administration, with no less than Duterte’s choice speaker, comebacking Davao Del Norte Rep. Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez, securing the defections-or political alliances, as others preferred to call it.

In the House of Representatives, a total of 116 seats or 49 percent of the 238 district representative seats are expected to be occupied by LP members.

CAN SENATE LP RESIST RODY?

In the Senate, aside from Bam Aquino who was elected in 2013, five other LP members are expected to be part of the Senate in the 17th Congress.

They are reelectionists Frank Drilon and Ralph Recto, former Sen. Kiko Pangilinan, and newcomers Joel Villanueva, and Leila de Lima. Make it six, with Risa Hontiveros of LP-affiliated Akbayan.

Drilon, Recto, Pangilinan, Hontiveros, De Lima, and Villanueva were proclaimed on Thursday.

FROM LAKAS TO LP TO PDP?

Among the notable LP members in the House are incumbent House Speaker Sonny Belmonte, former Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon, and outgoing Albay and Batangas Governors Joey Salceda and Vilma Santos-Recto.

Belmonte has expressed his support for Duterte’s administration, but wanted to contest Alvarez for the speakership. Before he became an LP man, he was an independent, then a Lakas stalwart.

Once a Lakas man, Salceda abandoned Roxas during the campaign and chose instead to support Sen. Grace Poe, the Nationalist People’s Coalition’s candidate. On Wednesday, he met with Alvarez in Pasay City to manifest support for him and Duterte, saying he did so upon Poe’s instructions.

Next to LP, NPC has the second highest number of prospective district representatives with 42 members, followed by Nacionalista Party and National Unity Party, with 23 members each.

In the Senate, only Sen. Koko Pimentel is a member of PPD-Laban for now, and he is the party president.

In the House of Representatives, only three out of the 238 prospective district representatives are from PDP-Laban. They are Alvarez, Eric Martinez of the third district of Valenzuela City, and Jun Papandayan of the second district of Lanao del Sur.

NOW, THEY ALL LOVE RODY

Early this week, PDP-Laban has recently forged an alliance with NP and Lakas-CMD.

NP has three members in the Senate--Cynthia Villar, Duterte’s running mate Alan Peter Cayetano, and Duterte’s worst critic Antonio Trillanes IV--and 23 prospective district representatives across the country.

In no time, Duterte offered Villar’s son, newly reelected Las PiƱas Rep. Mark Villar, to head the Public Works and Highways, and the offer was readily accepted.

THE GANG'S ALL HERE

Among the prospective district representatives of Lakas-CMD are former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and outgoing Bacoor Mayor Strike Revilla, brother of outgoing Senator Ramon Bong Revilla.

Both top Lakas leaders, Arroyo and Bong Revilla are currently detained on charges of plunder. During the campaign season, Duterte has promised to release the two if the evidence against them was weak.

NPC will have two members in the Senate, Sen. Loren Legarda and incoming Senator Win Gatchalian. On Sunday, Legarda’s son published an article praising Duterte.

In the House of Representatives, NPC will have 42 members in the 17th Congress, or 18 percent of district representatives.

UNA will have four members in the Senate while in the House, it has 11 prospective district representatives.

Notes: The candidate’s party affiliation was based on the political parties indicated on the election returns from the Comelec Transparency Server; Antonio Trillanes IV and Alan Peter Cayetano are members of Nacionalista Party but ran as independent candidates in the 2016 elections.

Figures derived and analyzed by ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group from the following sources:

Comelec NBOC Resolution No. 0010-13; Partial, Unofficial Results as of 8:45 am, May 18, 2016 representing 96.14% of Election Returns from the Comelec Transparency Server accessed from halalanresults.abs-cbn.com.



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