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Gloria Arroyo’s former allies throw support behind Duterte

A political party composed of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s erstwhile allies have formalized their support to President-elect Rodrigo Duterte by signing a coalition agreement Thursday with his political party, the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Laban ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).

The signing of the agreement for NUP’s membership in the so-called “Coalition for Change” in Congress was led by Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, Duterte’s choice for Speaker, and NUP president Bataan Gov. Albert Garcia.

During the event, Alvarez was also named as NUP’s chairman emeritus.

NUP was formed in 2010 by the breakaway group of politicians who had supported the former President, who won her reelection bid as the congressional representative of Pampanga’s 2nd district.

Alvarez said NUP’s support is greatly valued because the incoming administration wants to pass several important laws in the next Congress, such as amending the 1987 Constitution to shift to a federal form of government, and changing certain anti-crime laws.

NUP chairman and Antipolo Rep. Roberto Puno assured Alvarez of the party’s support for Duterte and the Davao del Norte’s speakership bid.

“We’re always at the forefront of supporting the Speaker we choose to support,” he said.

NUP currently counts 32 lawmakers as members although the party's Secretary General, Reginald Velasco, said they expect more congressmen to join their ranks in the coming months. — RSJ, GMA News