MANILA The Minority bloc of the House of Representatives on Tuesday elected Manila Rep. Bienvenido Abante Jr. as their leader for the 18th Congress.
Abante was unanimously elected to the post by 25 lawmakers who were present during the coalition's first organizational meeting at the Batasan Pambansa complex in Quezon City.
The Minority bloc has 28 members which consist of those who voted against Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano during Monday's elections for the top House post.
Included in the bloc are the so-called Makabayan bloc, members of several party-list groups, as well as some members of the ruling PDP-Laban, Liberal Party and the Nacionalista Party.
In his acceptance speech, Abante said the coalition will have an objective, critical collaboration with the administration.
We are not here to oppose only because we want to oppose. We do not want to be destructive. We would like to support the President in his objective to the Filipino people, he said.
I hope none of us here would have a personal agenda. All of us are representatives of the people and that our advocacy is for the Filipino people and for the progress of our country," Abante said.
He also vowed that the Minority bloc would not just be an appendage of the House Majority, as a leading independent lawmaker had alleged.
Definitely we will not be a company union. I can assure you that, Abante said, assuring his colleagues that he will never impose on their respective predispositions.
When it comes to our advocacy, we are united as one. When it comes to preferences, we are at liberty to speak up. That will be my line of leading the Minority bloc, Abante said. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency