Tiangco leaves UNA, laments 'game fixing'

Trishia Billones, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 25 2016 11:28 AM | Updated as of Jul 25 2016 01:45 PM

United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) President Tobias "Toby" Tiangco has left the political party, he confirmed to ANC on Monday.

"I already left UNA yesterday. I called VP Binay to tell him that I’m leaving UNA," he said.

Tiangco's resignation comes on the heels of a meeting between former Vice-President Jejomar Binay, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, and Quezon Representative Danilo Suarez where the minority leadership was offered to UNA.

When they met on Tuesday afternoon, Tiangco noted, former House Speaker Feliciano "Sonny" Belmonte was still in the running for the house minority leadership, and the majority coalition does not want a Belmonte-run Liberal Party (LP) as the minority.

"Ang sabi ni Speaker Alvarez kay VP Binay, ayaw nilang maging minority yung LP. So yung choice nila is tulungan yung UNA na maging minority para talunin yung LP led by Speaker Belmonte at that time," he said.

To boost UNA's nine-man team, an offer was made to pour in votes from the majority, revealed Tiangco.

"Papaano gagawin yun, e siyam lang kami at that time? Ang gagawin nila is magbibigay sila ng boto from the majority na boboto sa UNA, but the condition was that Danny Suarez should be the minority leader," he added.

Tiangco said UNA is willing to lose a fair race to the congress leadership position, so when Binay relayed this piece of information to him, he said ‘I think we should fight this out fair and square and based on principle.’

"Sabi ko, kung ganyan ang mangyayari, at mananalo lang ang UNA dahil pinahiram ng boto, hindi na ako sasama diyan kasi pati ba naman sa House of Representatives, may game fixing?," he said.

IN HAPPIER DAYS. Navotas Representative Tobias M. Tiangco takes his oath of office before Vice President Jejomar C. Binay at the Coconut Palace last May 27, 2016. File photo from OVP.

Albay Representative Edcel Lagman earlier scored the "anointment" of Suarez as the minority leader, calling it a bastardization of the election process of congress leaders.

Lagman said he and Tiangco had formed an independent caucus to field their own candidate for the speakership in hopes that he will land at second place to clinch the minority leadership.

Neither Lagman nor Tiangco will be the candidate from the caucus, and though Lagman refused to name their candidate, he said Ifugao Representative Teddy Baguilat, Jr. is a possible candidate.

Despite the caucus with LP member Lagman, Tiangco clarified that though he has left UNA, he will not be joining any party, and will stay independent.