Marcoleta leaves ‘legitimate’ House minority

Mara Cepeda
The 7 remaining lawmakers in the bloc, who consider themselves the 'real and authentic' minority, now call themselves the 'Magnificent 7'

MAKING THE SWITCH. 1-SAGIP Representative Rodante Marcoleta is now part of the House supermajority bloc. File photo by Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – 1-SAGIP Representative Rodante Marcoleta left the so-called “Legitimate 8” House minority bloc to join the more than 250 members of the supermajority allied with President Rodrigo Duterte. 

House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas and Albay 1st District Representative Edcel Lagman confirmed this with Rappler on Tuesday, October 4. 

“He has been accepted to the majority as of yesterday. He realized that his advocacies are more aligned to those of the majority’s,” said Fariñas in a text message. 

Lagman, however, said Marcoleta informed him last week that the Iglesia ni Cristo, the powerful Christian church of which the latter is a member of, wanted him to switch allegiances. 

“He texted a message. He said his church wanted him to join the majority. Whether there are other reasons, he has not told us,” said Lagman, who called Marcoleta an “outstanding member” of the bloc.

Rappler tried to reach Marcoleta for comment, but he has yet to reply as of posting time.

Now that he has left the minority bloc, the group will now be calling themselves the “Magnificent 7.”

The bloc was formed in protest of Quezon 3rd District Representative Danilo Suarez’s controversial win as House Minority Leader. They said a minority bloc under Suarez would be “subservient” to the supermajority. 

Apart from Lagman, the following still consider themselves the “true” fiscalizers at the House of Representatives:

  • Gary Alejano, Magdalo
  • Teddy Baguilat Jr, Ifugao
  • Emmanuel Billones, Capiz 1st District
  • Raul Daza, Northern Samar 1st District
  • Edgar Erice, Caloocan City 2nd District
  • Tom Villarin, Akbayan

Lagman added that Marcoleta’s transfer to the supermajority will not be a blow to them.

“We are going to carry on. There’s still a ‘Magnificent 7’ left in the group and it’s still authentic,” said Lagman. – Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.