MANILA -- House Deputy Speaker Rolando Andaya on Thursday said "quite a handful" of congressmen from the ruling party PDP-Laban are "seriously considering" jumping ships.
"Quite a handful na nagi-intensyon na talagang lumipat (There is quite a handful [of lawmakers] who are really intending to jump ship)," Andaya said in an interview.
Andaya said PDP-Laban lawmakers have expressed their growing "disenchantment" with the ruling party as its membership increased immensely.
"So, you had mass oath takings all over the provinces at the same time you had mass disenchantment among congressmen that were left out or made to play second fiddle," Andaya said.
He said the leadership upheaval could have stemmed from the displeasure of PDP-Laban congressmen, who elected Davao Del Norte Pantaleon Alvarez as Speaker during the start of the 17th Congress. Alvarez is the secretary-general of PDP-Laban.
"Congressmen felt that they were boxed out or kept in the dark. Dun palang nagkalamat na yung relasyon eh (That caused a strain to the relationship)," Andaya said.
"Kami yung sumuporta rightfully so, kung meron mang sisihin yung congressman, siguro yung feeling nilang binoto nila for Speaker na dapat prinotektahan sila but that did not happen (We were the ones who supported him, rightfully so. But if something is to blame, then it is the feeling that the congressmen voted for a Speaker who was supposed to protect them, but that did not happen)," he added.
Andaya raised the possibility of coalescing Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio's regional party, Hugpong ng Pagbabago, with a registered national party such as Lakas-CMD.
Lakas-CMD was the political party of newly-elected Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo before she switched to PDP-Laban last year.
"So probably a party like Lakas could take this opportunity to rebuild and come up with a coalition," Andaya said. (PNA)