Lagman resigns as minority leader
- Paolo Romero () - January 20, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman resigned yesterday as minority leader of the House of Representatives and branded his colleagues in the 28-member opposition bloc as blind followers of former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Lagman will be replaced by Senior Deputy Minority Leader and Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez, with whom Lagman had a term-sharing agreement before the start of the 15th Congress in July 2010.

“Although Rep. Danilo Suarez has not garnered an incontestable absolute majority of minority members to replace me, I am resigning as minority leader to give way to former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s anointed one,” Lagman said.

“I will be an independent and fiscalize the Aquino administration and continue to advocate progressive and alternative agenda,” he added to dispel speculations that he is set to join the administration coalition in the House.

Lagman was supposed to turn over the reins of the minority bloc to Suarez earlier this month to honor the term-sharing agreement. But he said the pact was binding only in the event that he would be elected speaker of the chamber.

He earlier bared having a manifesto titled “To Maintain Rep. Edcel C. Lagman as Minority Leader” that bore the signatures of “an absolute majority of the minority members.”

He said his resignation would also put a stop to what he called the creeping signature campaign of the Arroyo-backed Suarez camp “which has inordinately demeaned opposition members who had been relentlessly pressured to abandon their support for me.”

The insistence of Suarez on a term-sharing agreement for the minority leadership, Lagman said, “is contrived to deodorize my ouster which was finalized in Arroyo’s hospital suite at Veterans Memorial Medical Center in early January this year.”

When contacted, Suarez shrugged off Lagman’s comments, saying his predecessor had served well as minority leader in the last 18 months. 

ALBAY REP ALTHOUGH REP DANILO SUAREZ EDCEL C EDCEL LAGMAN GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES LAGMAN MINORITY MINORITY LEADER SUAREZ
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