LP ready to be main opposition party in Congress?

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
totalITemsFound:
maxPaginationLinks: 10
maxPossiblePages:
startIndex:
endIndex:

Former President Benigno Aquino III attends a closed-door meeting of LP members on Tuesday.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The Liberal Party (LP) is still deciding whether or not to leave the supermajority coalition in the House of Representatives.

But some party members said the LP is prepared to be the main opposition party in both the House and Senate.

LP president Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan neither confirmed nor denied the sentiment of some members.

The LP is a member of the majority coalition with President Rodrigo Duterte's Party PDP-Laban in the Lower House.

But the fate of the coalition is now in limbo after a shakeup in the Senate on Monday.

Read: Drilon on Senate shakeup: Not surprising, just numbers game

Three LP senators and an ally lost their key Senate positions.

Ralph Recto replaces Frankin Drilon as Senate president pro tempore – the second highest in the chamber. Cynthia Villar takes over the agriculture committee from Pangilinan, Chiz Escudero now leads the education committee from Bam Aquino, while JV Ejercito gets the health committee from LP ally and Akbayan's Risa Hontiveros

Pangilinan said some LP members are concerned over the timing of a decision to leave the coalition in the lower house.

He said the LP will decide on the matter after the vote on the re-imposition of death penalty in the Lower House on Wednesday.

"We have postponed the decision on the matter of whether or not the contingent of Liberal Party in the House will leave the majority until after these death penalty debates have been completed," Pangilinan said.

Some LP members want to see if House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez will follow through on his threat to strip congressmen off their committee chairmanships if they vote against the bill.

If this happens, it could trigger the LP's split from the coalition.

Meanwhile, the LP has decided to formally disagree on the possible return of the death penalty.

Pangilinan said their members are allowed to make a conscience vote based on religious grounds.

President Benigno Aquino III and Vice President Leni Robredo were also present at the meeting but did not disclose what they shared with their party mates. But according to some LP members, Aquino urged party members to speak out more.

"So ang basic guidance niya (His basic guidance) is that it's about time that we speak up, it's about time na marinig muli yung boses ng LP and marealize din yung good intentions natin para sa bansa. (It's about time that the LP's voice is heard again and that our good intentions are realized by the public," Quezon City Rep. Kit Belmonte said

Some LP members added Aquino and Robredo were at the meeting to support the party's senators.