NUP to limit number of members as it shuns House supremacy: Barzaga

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 07 2019 10:23 PM

National Unity Party (NUP) president Elpidio Barzaga after the oathtaking of new members and officers at the Seda Hotel in Quezon City on August 6, 2019. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The National Unity Party is not competing with the ruling PDP-Laban for influence in the House of Representatives, NUP President Elpidio Barzaga said Tuesday, noting that the group agreed to limit the number of its members.

The NUP was tagged as an emerging power bloc in the House after it adopted President Rodrigo Duterte's son as a member, and promoted popular Manila Mayor Isko Moreno as its vice chairman for political affairs.

"We shall be having some limitations in so far as the number to be admitted or accepted," Barzaga told ABS-CBN News.

NUP is affiliated with 53 congressmen, Barzaga said, but he declined to elaborate up to how many more members they could accommodate.

"We don't want to create the impression that we will be having more members against the party in power which happens to be PDP-Laban," he said. "

The NUP does not mind playing second fiddle to ruling parties, said Barzaga, who was among the founding members of the nearly 2-decade-old group.

"Siyempre kung ikaw ang PDP-Laban, the president belongs to your party, as much as possible you want to maintain your numbers in the House," he said.

"I think it will be better for the party in power to be the majority in order to easily legislate the programs needed by the president," he said.

The NUP, a part of Duterte's supermajority in Congress, was never daunted by the numbers game, Barzaga said.

"We were able to survive and we were able to work in spite of the fact that we were not the party of the president during the time of [former president Benigno] Aquino and in the present time," he said.

"It's only a question of loyalty," he said. "In so far as loyalty is concerned, sad to say we cannot legislate nor compel loyalty."