MANILA, Philippines – Quezon 3rd District Representative Danilo Suarez slammed the House independent minority bloc called the “Magnificent 7” for challenging his minority leadership before the Supreme Court (SC).
In a statement on Wednesday, November 16, Suarez said the Liberal Party (LP), which has members among the Magnificent 7 and the House supermajority blocs, are aiming to control the House of Representatives.
This comes after the following lawmakers questioned Suarez’s controversial election as minority leader:
- Edcel Lagman, Albay 1st District
- Teddy Baguilat Jr, Ifugao
- Raul Daza, Northern Samar 1st District
- Edgar Erice, Caloocan City 2nd District
- Emmanuel Billones, Capiz 1st District
- Tom Villarin, Akbayan
- Gary Alejano, Magdalo
“Their intentions in monopolizing the House leadership are evident, with LP members already part of the House majority while at the same time aiming for minority leadership,” said Suarez.
“I will not resort to name-calling here, but the arrogant and entitled posturing of their faction reveals much about their character,” added the Minority Leader.
Lagman, Baguilat, Daza, Erice, and Billones belong to the LP. The rest of their party mates signed a coalition agreement with President Rodrigo Duterte’s Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan.
Lagman had previously warned against a “subservient” minority bloc should it be led by Suarez.
He said proof of this is Suarez being a co-author of some of Duterte’s pet bills, including the measure seeking to restore the death penalty for heinous crimes.
But Suarez maintained they are a “constructive” minority and will “not oppose for the mere sake of opposing.”
“We have been consistent with regard to the policies of this administration: When you are right, we will support you. When you are wrong, we will correct you,” said Suarez.
The minority bloc gave Duterte an “A” grade for the war on drugs during the President’s 100 days, but said the administration needs to improve their efforts in improving other sectors.
Suarez is unfazed by the SC petition for mandamus filed against him, saying it would expose the plans of LP.
“We welcome the filing of the petition so that this issue will finally be put to rest. We are confident that, like contemporary actions initiated by their party, this will be exposed as a desperate attempt to stay in power,” said Suarez.
LP is the party of Vice President Leni Robredo and former President Benigno Aquino III.
Duterte previously accused LP of plotting to unseat him, a charge that the party’s stalwarts have denied. – Rappler.com