Removal of Speaker Alvarez looms, Sotto says senate is ready with the Arroyo-led house - The Daily Sentry

Monday, July 23, 2018

Removal of Speaker Alvarez looms, Sotto says senate is ready with the Arroyo-led house

Senate President Tito Sotto, Pampanga’s 2nd District Representative Gloria Arroyo, and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez
As the House of the Representatives of the 17th Congress opens on Monday, July 23, for their third and final regular session and for the State of the Nation Address (SONA) of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte, a controversy surfaced about its very own leader, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.

This, after the change of leadership at the house loomed.

According to reports, several sources – both from inside and outside the house – have leaked the possibility of Speaker Alvarez’s removal from presidency at the House of the Representatives.

Allegedly a done deal, the said move was supposedly decided over the weekend through the efforts of the President Rodrigo Duterte's daughter herself, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, together with her political allies, report says.

Sources also told ABS-CBN news team that solons have scheduled a caucus on Monday morning, supposedly to finalize the election of the 21st Speaker of the House of Representatives who is said to be former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

In the event Arroyo becomes the new House Speaker, she will be the first female to hold the position.

At present, Arroyo is on her final term as representative of Pampanga’s 2nd District. Once elected as House Speaker, she will only have the 3rd regular Session of the 17th Congress to serve. However,  Deputy Speaker Sharon Garin of AAMBIS-OWA party-list said Alvarez is currently "very stable."

"As far as I know, wala pang movement as of this hour, at 8 in the morning. Personally, I'm very happy with how Speaker Alvarez led the house," she told ANC's Headstart.
Photo from ABS-CBN
"If there is any change at all, only...with the blessing of the President," she said.

As the Senate President and the House Speaker preside over the joint session of the President’s State of the Nation Address, Pres. Duterte may have a different set of Congressional Leaders behind him as he delivers his 3rd State of the Nation Address in case the change progressed.

It can be recalled that Cagayan de Oro’s Aquino Pimentel III gave up the Senate Presidency to Vicente Sotto III last May.

As early as his first year in the office, there have been longtime rumors going on that Arroyo will replace Alvarez

The rumors that gained traction when Arroyo was freed by the Supreme Court after it dismissed the plunder case for the alleged misuse of PCSO funds died down when the latter was elected Deputy Speaker for Central Luzon in August 2016.

The issue resurfaced anew after Alvarez has been involved in a fight with his former ally-turned-enemy Davao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Antonio Floirendo Jr.

Speaker Alvarerz and Rep. Floirendo’s clash was allegedly triggered by their feuding partners which escalated when the House Speaker launched a probe on the supposedly anomalous joint venture agreement involving Floreindo’s family owned corporation and the Justice Department for a banana plantation in the Davao Penal Colony.

At the first quarter of this year, Alvarez being dethroned as the House Speaker had once again became a hot topic after his conflict with Mayor Sara Duterte.

The fierce Davao City Mayor bombarded Alvarez in a series of social media posts.

Mayor Duterte told Alvarez that he "messed with the wrong girl.”

In another post was that the same was "not a leader. He will never be a leader. Many congressmen can do more than what he is delivering for the President.”

“The Philippines will be a better country if he is not Speaker. PRD will be a stronger President without Alvarez,” the firebrand mayor told ABS-CBN News.

Not long enough, the two came face to face and shook hands before President Duterte at a gathering for administration allies in Pasay City last night, April 5, 2018 despite the president’s daughter’s prior series of social media posts.

The meeting took place during the president’s speech at a dinner hosted by Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Jay Velasco at Sofitel Philippine Plaza.

The Davao City Chief Executive told ABS-CBN in a statement, “Yes, shake hands. No talking. My mother told me to be kind to Speaker Alvarez. PRD told me not to harbor anger. I just want to focus on Davao City.”

In another report, the upper chamber's leader senate president Tito Sotto said the senate is prepared to work with the Arroyo-led house should the change in leadership transpired and made the former president the next House Speaker

"Dapat sa pamamalakad sa gobyerno hindi personal... Dapat magkasundo (ang Senate at House) regardless who he or she is (Speaker)," Sotto said to reporters.
Photo from Flickr
Above photo shows Former Senator Vicente "Tito" Sotto III took his oath of office before President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo at Malacanang Palace as the newly appointed Chairman of the Dangerous Drugs Board.

Meanwhile, the House minority bloc was meeting with other blocs before the 8:30 am all members caucus called by House Majority Leader Rodolfo Farinas.

Said meeting was to present the bicameral conference committee report on the proposed Bangsamoro Organic Law, Farinas explained to the media.

Sources: ABS-CBN 1 ABS-CBN 2