Liberal Party urged to leave House supermajority

MANILA, Philippines – Two Liberal Party (LP) lawmakers who belong to the House independent minority bloc are urging their party mates to leave the supermajority following the resignation of Vice President Leni Robredo from the Duterte Cabinet.  

"With the marginalization of Vice President Leni Robredo by the Duterte administration which prompted her resignation as housing secretary, the Liberal Party must rethink its alliance with President [Rodrigo] Duterte's ruling party, the PDP-Laban (Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan)," said Albay 1st District Representative Edcel Lagman in a statement on Monday, December 5.

Lagman said it was "righteous indignation" which forced Robredo, LP chairperson, to announce her resignation as head of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council on December 4. (READ: Gloria Arroyo on Robredo resignation: It was 'inevitable'

The President, through a text message sent by Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr, had ordered Robredo to stop attending Cabinet meetings. In her resignation letter, the Vice President said remaining under the Duterte Cabinet "has become untenable." She also told reporters on Monday that she had felt she was being eased out.  

LP member and Ifugao Representative Teddy Baguilat Jr shared the same sentiments as Lagman. 

"She has been mistreated as a Cabinet secretary, as a VP, and as a woman, so [the] resignation was expected. LP now should reconsider its position as a coalition partner as this was a serious affront to our party [chairperson]," Baguilat said in a text message.

To date, 27 LP lawmakers have signed a coalition agreement with PDP-Laban. (READ: Why the Liberal Party stayed in the House majority)

The remaining 5 LP congressmen decided to stay under the "Magnificent 7" independent bloc to become "true fiscalizers" at the House of Representatives:

According to Lagman, LP bolting the supermajority and joining the opposition bloc "will strengthen the authentic minority as an indispensable institution in a democracy."

"The break will also further energize efforts to contain and oppose administration policies violative of the Constitution and inimical to the people's welfare," he added.

As of posting, LP members allied with the supermajority have yet to release any official statements regarding the call to cut ties with PDP-Laban. – Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.

image