This is how opposition solon Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman described the House Minority Group under its new leader Abang Lingkod Rep. Stephen “Caraps” Paduano.
In a statement, Lagman said the majority group has two groups – the supermajority and masquerading minority.
“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,” Lagman said in a statement.
Lagman added that “they might as well join the anointed minority since they come from the same partisan corral.”
Paduano was unanimously elected by the members of the Minority after Manila Rep. Bienvenido Abante Jr. relinquished his post to join the majority group.
Speaker Lord Allan Velasco accepted Abante and said he will definitely be given the position.
According to Lagman, this handpicking of Minority Leader by the majority leadership is not the first time as it has been a practice in the 17th Congress.
“The majority in the House consists of two groups — the more numerous supermajority and a smaller aggrupation of majority allies who masquerade as ‘minority,” he stressed.
Responding to Lagman, Paduano said he was chosen unanimously by the members of the Minority and denied being an ally of Velasco.
Paduano further said that since the start of the 18th Congress, he had not been a supporter of either Velasco or former Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.
“Alam nilang pareho na hindi ko sila binoto, hindi sila ang Speaker. I only showed up in the Celebrity Sports Club because I believe Velasco should be the Speaker based on the term-sharing agreement,.” Paduano said.
He further explained that he wanted to help the House of Representatives regain its dignity which was tainted by the recent Speakership squabble.
“Rest assured the Minority group will be a fiscalizer,” Paduano told House media in a zoom press conference.