Celso picked to lead Zampen team in House majority bloc PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 12 July 2016 14:16

By DEXTER YAP

It will be another plus factor for Zamboanga City and Western Mindanao in the 17th Congress as District 1 Congressman Celso Lobregat was chosen to be the “pointman” or team leader for the region’s solons.

Incoming House Speaker, Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez chose Lobregat to spearhead the nine-man team of congressmen from this region being a veteran and a close ally of the speaker since the 11th Congress.

In a radio interview Monday morning, Lobregat confirmed the information that they have now formed the Mindanao bloc which comprises a large number of solons who are one in supporting the plans and programs of President Duterte administration.

Lobregat also confirmed that during their recent meetings with the Mindanao bloc representatives, majority of his colleagues in Western Mindanao agreed to choose him as their “pointman” and will represent them in related functions as designated by the group.

Under the said group of solons in Zamboanga Peninsula area are the three congressmen in Zamboanga del Norte, two in Zamboanga del Sur, two in Sibugay and Zamboanga City as well.

“I am honored, my colleagues have chosen me to lead our Western Mindanao team, a huge plus factor for Zamboanga City particularly in the 1st district which I represent,” Lobregat said.

The District 1 solon said that he sees no obstacle in performing his present term and in pushing for the best interests of the city, having familiar allies who are occupying sensitive positions in the Lower House.

In time for the maiden session of the 17th Congress in July 25, the members of the House of Representatives will vote for their speaker, the majority and minority floor leaders as well, in order to have their proper representations in the afternoon of the same day, wherein President Rodrigo Dutere will also deliver his 1st State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Newly-elected Davao del Norte 1st District Representative Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez is the name to watch in Congress, being endorsed by his own party the PDP-Laban which is also the political party of President Duterte.

Alvarez was a Davao del Norte Representative in the 11th Congress from 1998 to 2001 who later became President Arroyo’s DOTC secretary.

Before he was elected to Congress, Alvarez was the Assistant General Manager of the Manila International Airport Authority.

Alvarez is an organizer of One People Mindanao (OPM), a movement lobbying for a separate Mindanao Republic. He said that only a separate Mindanao Republic can help solve the problems the island is facing, adding that a Charter change would not solve our woes considering the present crisis the national government is facing right now. – Dexter Yap