Castro says he quit NUP due to 'delicadeza,' not Paolo Duterte

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 05 2019 10:52 AM | Updated as of Aug 05 2019 11:03 AM

MANILA - Capiz 2nd Dist. Rep. Fredenil Castro said Monday he resigned as president and member of the National Unity Party (NUP) because of "delicadeza", not because of its new adopted member, Davao City Rep. Paolo Duterte.

Castro said he endorsed Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez for Speaker, while NUP backed Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano, who eventually secured the post on the promise that he will step down after 15 months.

"My resignation was prompted by pure and simple delicadeza," Castro told radio ANC.

"I feel that I could no longer be effective as member of the party, as president of the party if I remain there because I took the opposite direction during the Speakership [race]," he added.

The former House majority leader also said he "cannot associate myself" with lawmakers who "during the time that Alan Peter was not clear to be Speaker of the House, they were also campaigning against Peter Cayetano, but after his election as Speaker of the House, you see them there asking, requesting, pleading for a position or chairmanship."

Castro denied that he resigned because he feared that President Rodrigo Duterte's son could replace him as party leader.

"I did not even hear before my resignation that Congressman Duterte was entering the National Unity Party," he said.

An Inquirer report citing sources said some 30 other congressmen, mostly from the President's party PDP-Laban, will transfer to NUP because they were disappointed at how Cayetano distributed committee posts.

If the transfer pushes through, PDP-Laban’s members will be reduced to 65 from the current 95, while NUP will have 46 members, up from 16.

There is a "50-50" chance NUP can emerge as a major House power due to the recent development, said Castro.

"While it is true that Polong Duterte could be a member or is prospectively a member of the National Unity Party, still PDP is the President's political party," he said.

Castro said he is "inclined" to join Romualdez's party, Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD).

"I am still thinking whether my principle and my kind of politics would jive with Lakas," he said.