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Key LP members jump ship to PDP-Laban

Key members of the ruling Liberal Party (LP) have joined the exodus of politicians making a beeline for the PDP-Laban, the party of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.

Thirteen lawmakers, 10 of them from LP, took their oath Thursday before prospective Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez in Makati City.

Leading the pack of those who jumped ship from the ruling party were Iloilo Rep. Jerry Treñas, chair of LP’s membership and organizing committee, Catanduanes Rep. Cesar Sarmiento, and Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali.

Sarmiento heads the House transportation committee while Umali chairs the energy panel.

Following the May 9 polls, incoming Energy Secretary and PDP-Laban vice chair Alfonso Cusi said the party’s membership in the House of Representatives have swelled to around 60 lawmakers from the original three, including Alvarez.

Alvarez, Duterte's chosen candidate for Speaker in the 17th Congress, said he expects their ranks to grow bigger in the coming days.

“I think we’ll be hitting [a membership] of around 80 or 100,” he said.

The other LP lawmakers who participated in the oath-taking ceremony were Deogracias Ramos Jr. of Sorsogon, Ma Lucille Nava of Guimaras, Lucy Torres Gomez of Leyte, Glona Labadlabad of Zamboanga del Norte, Jesus Sacdalan of North Cotabato and Zajid Mangudadatu of Maguindanao.

Joining them were Nationalist People’s Coalition stalwarts Sandra Eriguel of Laguna, and Arnolfo Teves Jr. of Negros Oriental, and National Unity Party member Vicente Sofronio Veloso of Leyte. —KBK, GMA News