MANILA - Lawmakers from Makabayan bloc and the Liberal Party on Monday wrote a letter to House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to insist that they are the real minority at the House of Representatives.
The letter dated July 30 sought to inform Arroyo that Marikina Rep. Miro Quimbo was elected by the minority lawmakers from the two political groups as their leader.
Representatives Gary Alejano of Magdalo, Ariel Casialo of Anakpawis, France Castro of ACT Teachers, Emmi de Jesus of Gabriela, Sarah Elago of Kabataan, Tom Villarin of Akbayan, and Josephine Sato of Occidental Mindoro were accepted as members of the minority bloc.
Current House rules say the minority leader should be elected by those who did not elect the winning speaker from among themselves.
Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez, who voted for Arroyo's leadership, said he wants to remain in his post as minority leader, after hearing that the group of ousted House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez wanted to lead the minority.
Suarez said Alvarez's group is fielding former majority leader Rodolfo Fariñas as minority leader. He warned of a "hostile minority" if this happens.
Recent movements among groups at the House of Representatives came after Arroyo's ascent to House leadership through a coup that saw the ouster of Alvarez.
Alvarez first drew the ire of President Rodrigo Duterte's daughter, Davao Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, for supposedly calling her newly-formed regional political party part of the opposition.
The former House Speaker denied Duterte-Carpio's pronouncements but he was still ousted a few months after the issue began.
Duterte-Carpio refused to comment on her alleged hand on the House coup but she and Arroyo had a "thank you lunch" on Monday with the lawmakers who supported the Pampanga representative.--reports from RG Cruz and Zandro Ochona, ABS-CBN News