Lawmaker confirms manifesto seeking Alvarez’s ouster
Liberal Party (LP) member and Caloocan City 2nd District Rep. Edgar Erice confirmed on Monday that there was a manifesto going around seeking the ouster of House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.
In an interview, Erice said majority of the members of the House were behind the manifesto, specifically members from the ruling political party, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), the National Unity Party (NUP), and other party-lists.
“There’s a manifesto for the reorganization, for the replacement of the Speaker, only the Speaker. I think the majority (is behind it). The members of the PDP, NPC, NUP even the party lists,” he said after the chamber unexpectedly adjourned its session on Monday without ratifying the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).
Erice said the LP is united in its stance favoring the change of leadership, but he said they have yet to decide whether they would abstain or vote for former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who is being floated to replace Alvarez.
“If there will be a replacement, there will be some of us who are abstaining, some of us I think will vote for GMA because of previous relationships, as you know, even President GMA is a former Liberal Party chairman,” the lawmaker said.
While they did not consult former President Benigno Aquino III about their position on the matter, Erice said Vice President Leni Robredo advised that they have to be “solid” with their decision.
“We’re just getting some advice from Vice President Leni, sabi nya dapat solid talaga kami sa aming mga positions,” he said.
“Solid kami for the change of leadership. Whoever will be the Speaker siguro pag-uusapan na namin (we should discuss the matter). We can abstain,” he added, noting that LP members who would vote for Macapagal-Arroyo would become part of the House majority.
Macapagal-Arroyo has been rumored to replace Alvarez since February this year, following Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio’s rift against him. This developed after the Speaker supposedly called her newly formed party, Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), as part of the opposition.
Marikina City 2nd District Romero Quimbo, also an LP member, said some lawmakers received a call from Duterte-Carpio to call for a change of leadership in the House. Quimbo said he also received a call but it was not the presidential daughter.
“I got a call na may pagkilos para palitan si Speaker,” he said.
“My fearless forecast is it’s going to be a very bumpy third regular session. So whoever becomes Speaker, will always have a daily grind passing legislation so I don’t envy who that is,” he also said.
Meanwhile, the seven-member Makabayan opposition bloc is also set to nominate ACT-Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio as speaker of the House should the change of leadership ensue.
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