Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo elected as House Speaker

By: Inquirer July 23,2018 - 10:50 PM

Pampanga Representative and former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, waves at the plenary hall of the House of Representatives together with other allied legislators. /AP Photo

PAMPANGA Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo officially became the Speaker of the House of Representatives on Monday after her colleagues convened in a session following the third State of the Nation Address (Sona) of President Rodrigo Duterte.

With 184 lawmakers voting for her installation, the former president became the first female House Speaker of the Philippines, ousting Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez.

Talk of Arroyo taking over the Speakership from Alvarez broke out just before the opening of the session at 10 a.m.

But the House adjourned the session without the expected change in leadership.

Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. was supposed to raise his objection to the adjournment of the session earlier when the audio of the livestream was turned off.

House plenary was temporarily off-limits to media.

“The session was adjourned despite objections raised loudly on the floor, objecting the motion to adjourn. While the motion to adjourn is not debatable, there was an objection. In that case, the motion should be put to a vote,” Andaya earlier said.

Members of the House returned to the session hall by early afternoon, and signed a manifesto calling for Alvarez’s ouster as Speaker.

At past 3 p.m., Arroyo was then sworn in as House Speaker even as the microphone at the podium was notably turned off.

While Arroyo was at the podium, Alvarez was seen welcoming Duterte to the House.

Despite Arroyo being sworn in, it was Alvarez who took the Speaker’s seat during the Sona.

President Duterte had a talk with Alvarez and Arroyo after the House voted to oust Alvarez.

Afterwards, Alvarez emerged and took the Speaker’s seat.

Abellanosa, Salimbangon back Arroyo

Rep. Rodrigo Abellanosa of Cebu City’s south district was among those who signed the manifesto to oust Alvarez.

“I signed the manifesto and voted for GMA to take over the House leadership from Speaker Alvarez. His pronouncements against the Cebu City Bus Rapid Transit project and his support to the opposition group in Cebu City are key points that influenced my vote for GMA as Speaker,” he said in a text message to Cebu Daily News.

For his part, Rep. Benhur Salimbangon said the National Unity Party (NUP) where he belongs supported Alvarez’s removal as House Speaker.

“The endorsement was signed by the party. It was a party’s decision,” he said, explaining why he also signed the manifesto.

Cebu Daily News also tried to contact other Cebuano members of the House but they did not answer the calls.

In 2010, before Arroyo’s term ended, several analysts have considered her career in national politics over, after her administration was consistently plagued by corruption issues. After eight years and several years of medical treatment, she made her comeback to head the 17th Congress.

In 1998, Arroyo was the running mate of presidential candidate Joe de Venecia, who lost to eventual President Joseph Estrada. Arroyo won, with one of the largest vote differentials in Philippine elections.

When Estrada stepped down from office in 2001, Arroyo was sworn into office during the so-called Edsa 2 rally. / with reports from Morexette Marie B. Erram and Jessa Mae O. Sotto

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TAGS: elected, Gloria, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, House Speaker

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