MANILA-- Five members of the Liberal Party (LP) on Thursday jumped ship to join the ruling PDP-Laban, the party of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Lanao del Sur Rep. Ansaruddin Adiong, North Cotabato Rep. Nancy Catamco, Bataan Rep. Geraldine Roman, and Quezon City Reps. Alfred Vargas and Winnie Castelo took their oath before Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez in a simple ceremony at the Social Hall, Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City.
Joining the exodus are members from other political parties, including: Sulu Rep. Munir Arbison and Isabela Rep. Rodolfo Albano II from the Nacionalista Party; Masbate Rep. Scott Davies Lanete and Zamboanga del Sur Divina Grace Yu from the Nationalist People's Coalition; and Camiguin Rep. Xavier Jesus Romualdo from Lakas.
The PDP-Laban party's membership in the House of Representatives has swelled to more than 120 lawmakers from the original three, including Alvarez.
Meanwhile, the latest exodus diminished the number of LP members in the lower chamber to 27.
In a statement, LP President and Senator Francis Pangilinan said the benefits of being part of the good graces of MalacaAang were hard to resist and wished the former members well.
Pangilinan said the once ruling party has been at the crosshairs of the Duterte administration and has suffered enormous challenges both internally and externally.
Since then, the party has been in the process of reflection, reconnecting, and redefining -- crucial requisites to rebuilding. In the face of unprovoked, relentless, and baseless attacks against the party and its leaders, these processes are expectedly rough and tough, he said.
After six months in the LP leadership, we soldier on, taking on the challenges and holding on only to this: that we as a people are what the rest of the world know about us: generous and forgiving, welcoming and loving, not prone to violence or ruthlessness, he added.
Source: Philippines News Agency