MANILA - Quezon Representative Danilo Suarez is confident he will emerge as the minority leader of the 17th Congress.
Suarez said his political party, the United Nationalist Alliance, has about 12 congressmen he can count for support. This, even if the Liberal Party has about 30 congressmen left and can grab the minority leadership.
Suarez slammed claims he could become a sort of company union type of minority leader, especially after he went to Davao City to meet with President Rodrigo Duterte along with other heads of parties.
Talks are rife in the Lower House that Suarez may get some support from the super majority which may reportedly loan some members.
"Pumunta ang una sa Davao because an invitation was relayed to us by presumptive majority leader Rudy Fariñas na gusto makausap ng Pangulong Duterte lahat ng puno ng political organizations para ipahayag ang kayang priority legislative agenda,'' Suarez said.
Earlier Thursday, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman scored what he called a ''blatant scheme'' of the super majority leaders to establish a servile minority in the House of Representatives.
Lagman said this is a betrayal of Duterte's call in his inaugural address for genuine change.
''President Duterte unequivocally articulated that 'the erosion of the people's trust in our country's leaders' must end, and for change to be permanent and significant, (it) must start with us and in us,''' he said.
Lagman emphasized that the majority must not meddle with the formation of the House Minority.
"This interference is a malevolent stratagem which both negates democratic processes and is counterproductive to genuine change. Undenied reports show that members of the majority coalition will be lent to a favored 'minority' faction to install it as the 'cooperative' minority," he said.
Lagman said the majority coalition's creation of a subservient minority will also further erode the people's trust in congressional leaders.
''Considering that those who now constitute the super majority are known, the identities of the "loaned" conspirators will surface during the roll call vote for Speaker in the morning of July 25, 2016 wherein the eventual second placer will become the Minority Leader," he said.