MANILA - The Liberal Party (LP)-Makabayan bloc now has 24 members in its bid to secure the minority leadership in the House of Representatives.
It is the largest of the 3 rival blocs for the position following a power shift spurred by the election of Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as House Speaker.
The latest list shows the following members:
- Minority Leader Miro Quimbo (LP - Marikina City District 2)
- Rep. Francis Gerald Abaya (LP - Cavite District 1)
- Rep. Vicente Alcala (LP - Quezon District 2)
- Rep. Gary Alejano (Magdalo Party-List)
- Rep. Kaka Bag-ao (LP - Dinagat Islands)
- Rep. Teddy Baguilat (LP - Ifugao)
- Rep. Bolet Banal (LP - Quezon City District 3)
- Rep. Kit Belmonte (LP - Quezon City District 6)
- Rep. Emmanuel Billones (LP - Capiz District 1)
- Rep. Gabby Bordado (LP - Camarines Sur)
- Rep. Arlene Brosas (Gabriela Party-List)
- Rep. Ariel Casilao (Anakpawis Party-List)
- Rep. France Castro (ACT TEACHERS Party-List)
- Rep. Raul Daza (LP - Northern Samar District 1)
- Rep. Emmi de Jesus (Gabriela Party-List)
- Rep. Toff de Venecia (LP - Pangasinan District 4)
- Rep. Sarah Elago (Kabataan Party-List)
- Rep. Edgar Erice (LP - Caloocan City District 2)
- Rep. Edcel Lagman (LP - Albay District 1)
- Rep. Jocelyn Limkaichong (LP - Negros Oriental District 1)
- Rep. Josephine Ramirez-Sato (LP - Occidental Mindoro)
- Rep. Antonio Tinio (ACT TEACHERS Party-List)
- Rep. Tom Villarin (Akbayan Party-List)
- Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate (Bayan Muna Party-List)
"Our numbers in the #NewHouseMinority are growing by the day. This further proves our legitimacy in the House, and shows that this new Minority is one that is worthy of the promise of democracy to our people," said Dinagat Islands Rep. Kaka Bag-ao, senior LP member.
On the other hand, the group of Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez has 15 members, according to Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza, who is Suarez’s Deputy Minority Leader.
Atienza insisted there is no reorganization of the minority. He added that the whole body should participate in the election of officers, as everybody participated in the vote on the speakership since it was done not at the start of a congress after an election.
Atienza said those who abstained from the speakership vote on July 23, such as LP members, should be penalized.
Meanwhile, the camp of Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, who was ousted as Speaker, and ousted Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas have 15 members based on a letter of Suarez’s supposed Deputy Minority Leader Eugene Michael de Vera.
Fariñas claimed De Vera succeeded Suarez as minority leader when the latter voted for Arroyo.
For her part, Nueva Ecija Rep. Magnolia Antonino reiterated that Arroyo is staying out of this fight.
“Firm belief ni Speaker GMA (Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo) they must work out the issues among themselves.”
House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr., meanwhile, said Suarez’s minority leadership has to be affirmed in plenary, which means it will have to be done by a vote.
“The body will have to affirm the recognition," he said.