HNP endorsement of Ungab as next Speaker reveals ‘cracks’ in House majority coalition

Published July 3, 2019, 1:54 PM

by Gabriela Baron & Minka Klaudia Tiangco

By Charissa Luci-Atienza

Hugpong ng Pagbabago’s nomination of Davao Rep. Isidro Ungab as its Speakership bet will not solve anything as it only highlighted the “disarray” and “widening cracks” within the majority coalition, Bayan Muna partylist Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate said Wednesday.

 Bayan Muna partylist Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate (Bayan Muna Partylist Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)
Bayan Muna partylist Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate (Bayan Muna Partylist Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)

Zarate, who is himself candidate of the six-man Makabayan bloc’s for Speaker, said HNP’s endorsement of Ungab, a close ally of President Duterte, sought to prevent the “inevitable division” of the administration coalition, as their candidates have found themselves pitted against each other.

“The disarray of the majority coalition, the crack is widening, you cannot just ignore it,” he told reporters in a press conference.

“They are trying to prevent the inevitable, ‘yung pagkawatak-watak ng coalition. They are trying to propose a supposed common candidate na acceptable sa lahat nag parties,” the Davao-based lawmaker said.

He cited that Ungab has close ties with President Duterte, since he served as one of the councilors of the Chief Executive when he was still the Davao mayor.

“Apparently, proposing congressman Ungab as a common candidate will not solve anything kasi how will big parties take it now that they are being dictated by Hugpong ng Pagbabago. How will the so-called major party the PDP-Laban na maraming candidates accept this?…Talagang to borrow the word of President Duterte , “labo-labo ito.” This will not be for the good, benefit of our people,” Zarate said.

The HNP has suggested that Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano  take the Majority Leader position, Marinduqe Rep. Lord Alan Velasco the chairmanship of the powerful Appropriations Committee, and Leyte Rep.  Martin Romualdez to head the Accounts Committee.

“Will that solve anything? Acceptable ba sa mga so-called frontrunners? ‘Yung iba dyan nagtratrabaho na before. In the end, I think it is still President Duterte who will be the one to pick who will be the next Speaker,”  Zarate said.

“He wants to play this out until July 22, kung sino ay maiiwan dyan, ‘yun ang pipiliin nya,” he said.

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