The ongoing exodus of politicians to the camp of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte did not alarm Boholanos, brushing off the move as “normal and practical”.
This was the reaction of 23 callers who responded to a phone-in survey conducted by DYRD “Inyong Alagad” asking listeners “How would you characterize local politicians who align with the majority coalition led by the PDP-Laban”.
The survey was done to gauge the mindset of Boholanos over the recent moves of the three congressmen – 1st District Rene Relampagos of the Liberal Party (LP), 2nd district Aristotle “Aris” Aumentado and 3rd district Arthur Yap, both from the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC).
Majority of the respondents agreed that joining the bandwagon of Duterte is part of our multi-party system that thrives on politicians switching party affiliations at the start of a new administration.
Politicians joining forces with the dominant party are viewed as “political pragmatists” who are currying favors for themselves and their constituents, according to some respondents.
Politicians as representatives of the people should follow the voice of the majority when they elected Duterte by an overwhelming vote adding that political parties are only for the election and should not be a factor during the term of the sitting president.
But the minority looked with disfavor on the moves of the three congressmen branding them “political butterflies”, and “balimbings”, a local fruit that is a pejorative term for those who change parties with a wink of an eye to advance their political interests.
Also some respondents bewailed the loss of “fiscalizers” in congress to check possible excesses in the enactment of laws and the crafting of the budget.
Days after the election, Aumentado and Yap confirmed that they are now part of the coalition between the NPC and PDP-Laban, Duterte’s political party but will remain with the NPC.
On the part of Relampagos, the 3rd termer congressman signed a manifesto supporting Duterte and newly elected Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez as the next speaker of the 17th Congress but will stick it out with the LP. (Chito M. Visarra)