The gains made by former House Speaker Pantaleon D. Alvarez for the PDP-Laban will be preserved as his successor, former President now House Speaker Gloria M. Arroyo, pledged to remain a party member and help President Duterte’s political party push the administration’s legislative agenda.
Negros Occidental Rep. Albee Benitez, head of the powerful Visayan bloc in the House of Representatives, said PDP-Laban should be expected to arrange for alliances with Hugpong ng Pagbabago and other regional political parties that share the same political principles with the administration party.
“I believe the next move for us is to pursue alliances with regional and local political parties, particularly Hugpong, that are supportive of the Duterte administration,” said Benitez.
Hugpong is a regional political party organized by presidential daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, who was reportedly instrumental in the recent leadership upheaval in the House.
Benitez assailed as “pure imagination” the claim of a senior administration lawmaker of an exodus from PDP-Laban.
Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo, a senior party member, called on the national leadership to appoint or push for the election of Arroyo to a key position that is “commensurate to her stature as House leader.”
However, Castelo, chairperson of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development, said Alvarez must continue serving as secretary general.
“We have to maintain party harmony and unity. Speaker Arroyo and former Speaker Alvarez will make a formidable North-South tandem that could make the PDP-Laban even more formidable,” said Castelo.
Energy Secretary Al Cusi, party vice chairman, said appointing Aroryo to a national position in the party will still have to be deliberated on, apparently by the national executive council, and “ask her and the party leadership before arriving” at this decision. (Ben R. Rosario)