Two Boholano congressmen are now considered part of the incoming Duterte administration after they pledged support to presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte.
Re-elected Rep. Aris Aumentado and Rep. Art Yap, both members of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) signified their support to the new administration as the regular session of the Lower House opens at 4 o’clock tomorrow afternoon. They are among the 44 elected NPC congressmen.
After the formal coalition agreement between the NPC and the President’s party PDP-Laban, both solons are now considering themselves as part of the administration party.
The young Aumentado received a phone call from Pres-elect Duterte four days after the election to inquire on his political affiliation once Congress opens its session tomorrow.Â Aumentado who is on vacation in the United States personally assured Duterte of his support to the incoming administration. However, his spokesman, Boy Pernia toldÂ The ChronicleÂ the solon will not change party membership, sticking it out with NPC.
For his part, Rep. Yap who run as an LP candidate in the last election clarified that his political party is NPC which was in coalition with the ruling Liberal Party. The solon likewise stressed that he will not jump to Duterte’s PDP-Laban, but instead will stay with the NPC.
When asked if he is now with the Duterte administration, Yap, in his text message toÂ The ChronicleÂ last night said “Yes, but with NPC under PDP alliance and we are now with the Duterte admin but I am not moving to PDP-Laban.”
Yap in a press statement said “I expect Duterte to fulfill his promise because he built his career as an action man-chief executive.”
“I will support him in his anti-drug campaign since Bohol right now is facing increased drug related activities,” Yap emphasized.
There are 292 congressmen, including solons elected under the party list.
The May polls elected 116 LP congressmen, 44 NPC, 23 NUP, 22 NP, 11 UNA, 4 Lakas-NUCD, 3 PDP-Laban, 2 LDP and 12 independent bets who likewise won during the last election.
For his part, re-elected Rep. Rene Relampagos, an LP stalwart said the majority party of the outgoing Aquino administration is expected to support the bid of Davao Rep. Bebot Alvarez (PDP-Laban) as House Speaker. In the latest headcount last Thursday in Manila, there are 50 to 60 LP congressmen who are expected to vote for Alvarez, but will remain as members of the Liberal Party. There are also some of the LP solons who will leave LP to join Duterte’s PDP-Laban.
But, Relampagos stressed “I will not leave the Liberal Party.”
He explained that if the majority of the solons voting for Alvarez will belong to the LP, then the Liberal Party will remain as the House majority bloc even under the Duterte administration. The PDP-Laban still has about a month to campaign for solons to jump to the President’s political party.Â If majority of the ruling LP congressmen will jump to PDP-Laban, then Duterte’s party will become the House majority bloc.
The election for the Speaker of the House will possibly be a toss between Rep. Alvarez and Rep. Sonny Belmonte which willÂ be on the last Monday of June, in time for the first State-of-the-Nation address of presumptive President Duterte later on the same day.
Tomorrow’s opening of session will tackle the canvassing and proclamation of the two top elected officials of the land, Pres-elect Duterte and Vice Pres-elect Leni Robredo.