The seven-member Makabayan bloc composed of leftist lawmakers on Thursday announced their decision to break their alliance with the House majority coalition and with President Rodrigo Duterte, whom they accused of reneging on his words.
"Nagdeklara kami ng pagkalas sa majority [bilang] pagtutol namin sa administrasyong Duterte na pasista, kontra-mamamayang rehimen," ACT Teachers party-list Representative Antonio Tinio said in a press conference in Quezon City.
"Mula ngayon wala na kami sa majority, kami ay magiging independent bloc."
Tinio said the basis for their support and alliance with the majority and with Duterte was because of the President's pro-people policies and pronouncements, among them the resumption of the peace talks with communist rebels, release of political prisoners, ending ties with the United States, and pursuing an independent foreign policy.
"Ngayon, nililinaw rin natin na wala na ang lahat ng mga batayan na ito kaya wala nang dahilan para manatili sa supermajority," Tinio said.
Anakpawis party-list Representative Ariel Casilao said the rejection of Judy Taguiwalo and Rafael Mariano as Social Welfare and Agrarian Reform secretaries, respectively, also triggered their decision to bolt from the coalition.
"'Yung pag-imbita sa kaliwa para maging bahagi ng kanyang Gabinete ay tinugunan ito at nagbigay tayo ng mga very competent na mga personalidad mula sa ating progresibong kilusan," he said.
"Ang pagtanggal nila ay bahagi lamang ng pag-unravel ng isang rehimen na tumalikod na," Casilao added.
Bayan Muna party-list Representative Carlos Zarate said with their separation from the House majority, members of the Makabayan bloc will be stripped of their membership in the committees they belong to.
"Yun ang consequence, kung member ka ng majority, magkakaroon ka ng voting power. Kung hindi ka member ng majority, mawawalan ka ng committee membership," he said.
This, he said, will not prevent the bloc from registering their position on various issues and legislation being discussed at the House.
"Malinaw na ang Makabayan bloc ay may responsibilidad sa mga bumoto sa amin," said Gabriela Women's Party Representative Emmi De Jesus. "Ipagpapatuloy namin ang aming pagkilala sa aming tungkulin kahit ang aming mga poder ay hindi na namin hawak."
Other members of the Makabayan bloc include Gabriela Women's Party Representative Arlene Brosas, ACT Teachers party-list Representative France Castro and Kabataan party-list Representative Sarah Elago.
Casilao said they have already informed Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas of their separation from the majority.
The bloc, however, is hoping to continue a good working relationship with their former coalition.
In response, Fariñas said he accepted the bloc's decision.
"I respect and accept your decision with a heavy heart, of course. But, as you know too well, I have good relations even with the Independent (Magnificent) 7 who sued the Speaker, [Minority Leader] Danilo Suarez, and I before the Supreme Court," Fariñas told Tinio in a text message, which he shared to the media. —KBK, GMA News