MANILA, Philippines – Three lawmakers from Mindanao formally joined president-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).
Misamis Oriental Representative Peter Unabia, Davao City Representative Mylene Albano, and newly-elected Sarangani Representative Rogelio Pacquiao were sworn in as new members of the incoming ruling party on Tuesday, May 24, at the Marco Polo Hotel in Ortigas.
Unabia had campaigned for Liberal Party (LP) presidential bet Manuel Roxas II. He previously claimed that the administration standard-bearer would get 6 million out of 12 million votes in Mindanao.
Albano was also an LP member, while Pacquiao – brother of senator-elect and boxing champ Manny Pacquiao – ran under local political party People’s Champ Movement (PCM).
Earlier, incumbent House Minority Leader and reelectionist Ronaldo Zamora, together with former LP member Alfredo “Albee” Benitez, also jumped ship to Duterte’s party. Both lawmakers supported Senator Grace Poe in the presidential elections.
With more lawmakers shifting to PDP-Laban, Davao del Norte Representative Pantaleon Alvarez has been gaining the support he needs to become House Speaker.
Several LP members already signed an agreement to join Alvarez’s majority bloc. Incumbent House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr also conceded to Alvarez and said that he would join the minority. (READ: Half of LP congressmen moving to Duterte’s PDP-Laban – Alvarez)
The National Unity Party (NUP) has yet to seal its agreement with PDP-Laban, but it reunited with former ally Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) on Monday, May 23.
Lakas-CMD earlier forged an alliance with PDP-Laban during Alvarez’s lunch gathering with incoming lawmakers of the 17th Congress last May 18. – Rappler.com