They are birds of a feather and their numenclature as minority and majority cannot hide the fact that they flock together.

EDCEL LAGMAN - House majority and minority are birds of a feather –Lagman
Rep. Edcel Lagman (FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman aired this opinion as he noted that the majority bloc in the Lower House consists of two groups – “the more numerous supermajority and the smaller aggrupation of majority allies who masquerade as minority’”

Lagman reacted to the election of Abang Lingkod Parytlist Rep Joseph Paduano as minority leader, saying that this “handpicking” of a supposed opposition leader was started in the 17th Congress and “perpetuated in the 18th Congress.

The handpicking by the majority leadership of the “minority leader” was formalized in the 17th Congress and is perpetuated in the 18th Congress, according to Lagman, himself a former minority leader.

Lagman led the minority bloc in 2010 – 2012, during the term of then President Benigno Aquino III. He was then a member of Lakas-CMD but later joined Aquino’s Liberal Party.

Lagman, an independent opposition congressman, also said that “the disgruntled majority members who are identified with the ousted leadership cannot strengthen the authentic minority in the House of Representatives because they come with hurt egos and without ideology, conviction and commitment as oppositionists.”

He was obviously referring to allies of Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano who has been ousted as speaker last week and was replaced by Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco.

Members of the Cayetano group who are holding committee chairmanship posts are in danger of being stripped of their current assignments and may later find themselves discriminated against while continuing as members of the supermajority bloc.

Velasco hinted a revamp of the House leadership when he admitted that the performance of current committee chairpersons are being evaluated and that loyalty and trust will be main considerations of the job assessment. 

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