MANILA Liberal Party lawmakers at the House Representatives have constituted themselves as the minority bloc in the lower chamber amid the ascension of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to the speakership.
The 12 LP members who abstained from the speakeship vote made the announcement in a press conference on Wednesday. The LP House contingent elected Marikina Rep. Miro Quimbo as the minority leader.
"We are the duly constituted minority under the [House] rules, under the most recent jurisprudence... We are ready to start working as the minority of the House to perform the function of ensuring that there is check and balance in the legislative process," Quimbo said.
Quimbo was referring to Section 8 of the Rules of the House of Representatives and the Supreme Court decision promulgated July 25,2017, which states that "xxx (a) all those who vote for the winning Speaker shall belong to the Majority and those who vote for other candidates shall belong to the Minority; (b) those who abstain from voting shall likewise be considered part of the Minority; and (c) the Minority Leader shall be elected by members of the Minority."
The LP members who abstained from voting for Arroyo included Quimbo, Cavite Rep. Francis Abaya, Dinagat Islands Rep. Kaka Bag-ao, Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat, Quezon City Reps. Jorge Banal and Jose Christopher Belmonte, Camarines Sur Rep. Gabriel Bordado Jr., Pangasinan Rep. Christopher de Venecia, Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, and Negros Oriental Rep. Jocelyn Limkaichong.
Quimbo already wrote a letter to Arroyo, informing her that the 12 LP lawmakers now constitute the House minority.
Quimbo has already relinquished his post as the Deputy Speaker.
Incumbent minority leader Danilo Suarez, however, insisted that his bloc is still the minority under Arroyo's leadership and maintained his status as its leader.
Suarez voted for Arroyo as speaker. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency