At least 10 members of the Liberal Party (LP) have switched allegiance to the emerging ruling party PDP-Laban of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.
These include Oriental Mindoro Rep. Rey Umali, Iloilo Rep. Jerry Treñas, Catanduanes Rep. Cesar Sarmiento and Leyte Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez.
The four joined 13 other former LP lawmakers who swore allegiance to PDP-Laban on Thursday before incoming Speaker Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez.
Umali, brother of LP Treasurer Alfonso Umali Jr., is a very good friend of President Benigno Aquino 3rd. He was one of the public prosecutors during the impeachment of former Chief Justice Renato Corona.
Treñas, on the other hand, used to be the chairman of LP’s membership and organizing panel.
Sarmiento is the current chairman of the House Committee on Transportation.
Other LP members who jumped ship include Jose Antonio Alvarado of Bulacan,
Deogracias Ramos Jr. of Sorsogon, Jesus Sacdalan of North Cotabato, Glona Labadlabad of Zamboanga del Norte and Zajid Mangudadatu of Maguindanao.
The PDP-Laban also gained allies from National Union Party (NUP) which has 32 congressional seats.
NUP is led by chairman Antipolo Rep. Roberto Puno, Bataan Rep. Albert Garcia and Northern Samar Rep. Emil Ong.