House adjourns, fails to ratify Bangsamoro Organic Law
The House of Representatives adjourned its session on Monday without ratifying the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).
In an unexpected turn of events, Pampanga 4th District Juan Paolo Bondoc moved for the adjournment of the session after being suspended for about an hour.
Deputy Speaker Gwendolyn Garcia approved the motion even though Camarines Sur 1st District Rolando Andaya Jr. was trying to object it.
House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas earlier said the chamber would ratify the BOL on the opening of their third and last session so President Rodrigo Duterte could sign it in time for his third State of the Nation Address.
Opposition lawmaker Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin has lamented how the BOL was “taken over by the intramurals” within the administration coalition.
“Sa tingin ko hindi naman sinet-aside (ang BOL), it’s only that it was taken over by intramurals within the administration coalition,” he said.
“And the longer that these intramurals will not be resolved, eh ang daming masa-sacrifice na mga priority na legislative measures,” he added.
Ouster plot vs Alvarez
The rumored ouster of Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez was also expected to happen at the session. Former president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has been rumored to replace Alvarez since February this year following his rift with Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
But with the session adjourned, Oriental Mindoro 2nd District Rep. Reynaldo Umali, in an interview, said Alvarez would stay as Speaker.
“Until the position is declared vacant and we make a vote on that, then he stays,” Umali told reporters in an ambush interview.
Prior to the abrupt adjournment, the session, which began at 10:00 a.m., was earlier suspended so various groups “could discuss their stand or position” on the change of leadership, Villarin said.
“Mukhang wala namang compromise or resolution to the impasse, siguro it’s the toll of the Speaker to adjourn,” the lawmaker added.
Pressed if he thinks Alvarez was not confident of the chamber’s loyalty for him, Villarin said: “If your move is to adjourn, then I think the numbers that are against you is really kumbaga, serious.”
He also noted that it was the first time an incumbent administration was divided going to a midterm election.
“Usually a challenge against the speakership happens towards the end (of an administration’s term),” Villarin said. /cbb, je
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