MANILA – Outgoing House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. on Monday said that he has never sought any position in the Duterte administration and would decline any such offers.
“Let me say, for the record, that I have never sought any position nor been offered any. I have also never issued any statement to this effect to anyone. And, in the event that an offer is made, I will respectfully decline the same,” he said in a statement distributed to members of media.
His statements were made amid increasing speculations on what transpired during his ‘courtesy call’ to President-elect Rodrigo Duterte in Davao City last Tuesday.
He also clarified that negotiations were still underway for the Liberal Party to become part of the majority coalition.
Likewise, he said that he had chosen to remain with LP despite several party mates opting to join other political parties after the national elections.
“I have chosen to remain with the party, even after successful negotiations to coalesce with the majority shall have been completed,” he said.
Belmonte, who had been House Speaker for the 15th and 16th Congress, also sought to allay fears over what is now dubbed as a “Supermajority” in both Chambers of Congress.
“This is a coalition that denotes strength and unity in numbers for the speedier passage of measures that can benefit majority of our people. I believe it can be viewed positively as a means to becoming more responsive to our people’s needs, and in a timelier manner,” he said.
He also allayed fears on the disappearance of an opposition in the case of a supermajority.
“There will always be an opposition within a democracy and I have and always will uphold my belief in the democratic processes and put the interest of our people and of our Constitution as my foremost priority,” he said.
“As Speaker of the House, or in any other capacity I may continue to serve our people, I will remain steadfast in protecting the interest of the Filipino,” Belmonte said.