More congressmen will change political color, incoming speaker Alvarez says

MANILA — Incoming House Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez said over the weekend that he is talking to several group of lawmakers who had signified intention to jump ship from their present political affiliation and be part of the growing PDP-Laban.

“I am expecting to get at least 1/3 of total membership of the House of Representatives before the opening of the 17th Congress.. Maybe around 100 or more will be part the new PDP-Laban,” Alvarez said in a text message.

“Before, I only expect 80 to 100 but I was surprised that many have signify their intention to change political color,” he added.

Alvarez refused to divulge the names of congressmen but claimed that a big bulk of them will come from the ruling Liberal Party.

“Just wait for the announcement. I will tell you when the appropriate time comes. Big names in Congress who were re-elected includes,” he pointed out.

Last Thursday, 11 members of LP take their oath together with three others to PDP-Laban at the Dusit Thani Hotel in Makati City. There are only three original members of PDP-Laban who won in the recent elections including Alvarez.

The Davao del Norte lawmaker said it was just natural that when a new administration enters, political butterflies started to fly and transfer simply because they wanted to assure that they could get the needed funding for their projects in their district.

He stressed earlier that those who would decide to move to PDP-Laban, they would have the priority to get the chairmanship of major committee posts or at least vice chairman of standing committees.

Asked how many lawmakers have taken their oath, Alvarez said, “A sizable number of them.”

PDP-Laban has forged coalition with the Nacionalista Party and the Nationalist People’s Coalition and is now working with the remaining LP members led by Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr

Alvarez concluded that in the next few weeks, expect more congressmen to change political color. Sammy Martin/PNA/