Party-list groups back Duterte, bet for Speaker

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 25 2016 03:18 PM | Updated as of May 25 2016 08:10 PM

MANILA - Members of the Party-list Coalition Foundation Inc. (PCF) threw its support Wednesday behind the incoming administration of presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte and his preferred candidate for House Speaker, Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez.

Among the parties that backed Duterte and Alvarez at Manila Peninsula hotel were 1Pacman, 1Care, Buhay, Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, Akbayan, and Cooperative NATCCO.

In return, they asked for distribution of committee chairmanships to members of the coalition.

Alvarez, for his part, thanked his fellow congressmen for their support.

The Davaoeño lawmaker said their legislative agenda will put priority on restoring the death penalty, changing the current form of government from unitary to federalism, and amending the Juvenile Delinquency Act.

1Pacman Rep. Michael Romero said 260 representatives out of the total 290 have already declared support for Alvarez.

Alvarez is up against 16th Congress House Speaker Sonny Belmonte of the Liberal Party (LP), who is seeking to retain the Speakership on his final term as congressman in the 17th Congress.

READ: It's Alvarez vs Belmonte for Speakership battle

Several district representatives, meanwhile, also took their oath today before Alvarez as new members of the Duterte's PDP-Laban party.

Some allies of the outgoing administration and losing presidential candidates earlier jumped ship to the PDP-Laban, thus boosting the speakership bid of Alvarez.

Akbayan Rep. Barry Gutierrez, in a statement Wednesday, clarified that although their group is a member of the party-list coalition, Akbayan has not yet made a decision on who they will support for House Speaker. -- Report from Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News