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Garcia, allies form House ‘middle force’

Posted by Mai on July 26th, 2007

Garcia, allies form House ‘middle force’
By Christian V. Esguerra
Last updated 06:47am (Mla time) 07/26/2007

MANILA, Philippines — Cebu Representative Pablo Garcia, the defeated candidate for the House speakership, and his allies have formed themselves into a 36-member so-called reform bloc to serve as a check on Speaker Jose de Venecia.

Camarines Sur Representative Luis Villafuerte, Garcia’s campaign manager in his run for the post, said the new group would serve as a “middle force.”

“Whether the new reform bloc will make things difficult for De Venecia will depend on his attitude, work ethic, and sincerity,” Villafuerte said.

Garcia’s loss to De Venecia has threatened to further divide the ruling coalition in the lower chamber. De Venecia is president of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats while Garcia belongs to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s party, the Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (Kampi, Partner of the Free Filipino).

Villafuerte, the Kampi president, made it clear that the Garcia bloc was not bolting the administration and going over to the opposition.

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