Representatives from both the majority and minority blocs in the Congress have assured Feliciano Belmonte Jr. of retaining his speakership post amid rumors about a supposed plot to oust him.
Dasmarinas City Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr., the vice president of the National Unity Party for external affairs, said the NUP stands solidly behind Belmonte.
He said speculations about Belmonte supporting a presidential candidate in 2016 other than the one chosen by the leadership of the Liberal Party was fueling the “coup” rumors.
“But I don’t believe that this impression is true. I think the Speaker is a loyal LP leader-member and will support the candidate chosen by the President and their party,” Barzaga said.
Belmonte sits as honorary chairman of the NUP.
A partylist ally of the NUP, Rep. Rodel Batocabe of AKO-Bicol, said the partylist coalition in the House was also throwing its support behind Belmonte.
“We know that these are just rumors as of now, but we in the 42-member Party-list Coalition have taken a stand to continue supporting the leadership of Speaker Belmonte,” Batocabe said.
The alleged “coup” is supposedly going to take place after the Congress opens its third regular session today, July 27, 2015. According to reports, some LP members might declare on the floor all positions – including the speakership –as vacant.
The House consists of 290 members, of which the majority comes from the LP, the administration party.
Ranking leaders of the LP, the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) and members of the minority have also shot down talks about a supposed ouster plot against Belmonte.