By Mario Casayuran
The opposition Liberal Party (LP) will remain as the genuine minority at the House of Representatives in the aftermath of the recent leadership change.
Sen. Francis Pangilinan, LP president, stressed this following last Monday’s change in House Speakership from Davao Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez to former President and current Pampanga Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
“Who can be chosen as minority? According to House rules, those who did not vote and abstained from voting for the Speaker,’’ Pangilinan said.
Pangilinan said12 LP members abstained from the controversial Monday vote.
In last Monday’s voting, there were 120 members of PDP-Laban party where Alvarez is the secretary-general, according to former Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, LDP-Laban president.
Pimentel said he was in Lubao, Pampanga where Arroyo took her oath as a PDP-Laban party member.
However, he said Arroyo was only a party member on paper because she has not actively participated in party programs.
Throughout the Duterte administration, Pangilinan said LP members have proven to be the vigilant, credible, and responsible opposition voice against killings in the war on drugs, nonchalant stance in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) dispute, the imposition of martial law, and the dangerous Charter change move.
‘’With the ascendancy of a supermajority at the House, what is needed is an authentic minority bloc, and not a co-opted, so-called company union. Having such for a minority group will remove the checks and balances in the chamber, which is fatal to the democratic process in the legislative branch,’’ he said.
‘’Recognizing the LP as the genuine minority bloc ensures a vibrant and productive chamber,’’ he stressed.