Arroyo, Ungab removed as House deputy speakers
MANILA, Philippines — After being demoted in May over her supposed aspiration to be Speaker of the House of Representatives, former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Tuesday was completely stripped of her designation as deputy speaker.
Also removed as deputy speaker was Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab in Tuesday’s plenary session.
House Majority Leader Rep. Manuel Jose Dalipe said both were stripped of their posts because they “chose not to sign a pivotal House resolution sponsored by the entire leadership.”
He was referring to House Resolution No. 1414, which the bigger chamber as a committee of the whole adopted on Monday, to uphold the integrity and honor of the House of Representatives and express appreciation, solidarity, and support for the leadership of Speaker Martin Romualdez in response to former President Rodrigo Duterte’s claim that it was the “most rotten institution.”
A collective decision
In a statement following Arroyo’s and Ungab’s relief, the majority leader claimed that it was a collective decision borne of careful deliberation when two of nine deputy speakers “chose” not to support the resolution.
“This particular resolution was of paramount importance, as it manifested the collective intention of the House leadership to rise in unison in defense of the institution,” he pointed out, stressing, “This resolution was a response to certain quarters that have recently levied criticisms and scurrilous attacks against the House and its leadership.”
According to Dalipe, “The House leadership respects the right of each member to their individual opinions and decisions. However, leadership positions come with certain responsibilities and expectations.”
“One of the expectations is to be aligned with the collective decisions of the leadership especially on matters of significant importance to the institution,” he added.
He maintained, “By choosing not to sign the resolution, Deputy Speakers Macapagal-Arroyo and Ungab demonstrated that their perspectives differ from the collective stance of the leadership.”
Tapped to replace Arroyo and Ungab as Deputy Speakers were Isabela Rep. Antonio Albano and Lanao del Sur Rep. Yasser Balindong.
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