By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN
More than a dozen congressmen from the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino – Lakas ng Bayan (PDP Laban) have decided part ways with the political entity of President Rodrigo Duterte.
On Tuesday, 15 PDP members took their oath as new members of the National Unity Party (NUP) during the entity’s annual general assembly held in Quezon City.
Among those district legislators who bolted the administration party are Reps. Alex Advincula (Cavite); Antonio “Tonypet” Albano (Isabela), Franz “Chicoy” Alvarez, Faustino “Inno” Dy (Isabela), Pablo John Garcia (Cebu), and Roger Mercado (Southern Leyte).
Also included in the PDP defectors are Reps. Yul Servo (Manila), Ramon Nolasco (Cagayan Province), Jose Ong Jr. (Northern Samar), Florinda “Rida” Robes (San Jose del Monte City), Janice Salimbangon (Cebu), Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, Joy Tambunting (Parañaque City), and Vicente “Ching” Veloso (Leyte).
In an interview, Robes admitted that the heavily contested speakership race last month has caused schism within the ruling party.
Robes said several members of PDP have resorted to “guerrilla” tactics during the Speakership race especially those who in favor and against the term-sharing between Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco.
“Noon, kami po ay nagkakaroon na ng guerilla pagdating sa Speakership,” said Robes.
Robes said she has no problem with leaders of the administration party such as PDP president Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and party vice-chair Energy Sec. Alfonso Cusi but leadership of the House delegation was another matter.
On Monday, the PDP leadership said they were unfazed by the recent mass defection of some of their disgruntled members.