Shouting match erupts as Fariñas questions Arroyo election as Speaker
[Published: 5:25 p.m., July 25, 2018 | Updated: 9:41 p.m., July 25, 2018
A shouting match between lawmakers erupted at the House plenary on Wednesday afternoon after Ilocos Norte 1st District Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas questioned the resolution electing Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as Speaker.
“As of the last session the other day, I am the majority leader and chair of the committee on rules,” Fariñas asserted on the floor.
“May I know if this resolution passed the Committee on Rules?” he asked Deputy Speaker Rolando Andaya, Jr. who was presiding over the session.
Andaya answered in the affirmative and said Rep. Fredenil Castro was elected interim majority leader and approved House Resolution No. 2025, which contains the proceedings of the July 23 session.
At this point, ACT-Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio approached the stand and objected to the motion that was being approved even though he started objecting.
“Objection, Mr. Speaker! Point of order Mr. Speaker!” Tinio shouted.
“Pinatayan niyo ko ng mic. May nag o-obect, hindi niyo kinilala. Kitang-kita naman oh. Mahiya naman kayo. I am objecting.” he continued.
[You switched off the mic on me. Someone’s objecting whom you did not recognized. That’s very obvious. You should be ashamed of yourselves. I am objecting.]
Andaya said: “Nakabukas na yung mic.”
[The mic is already on.]
Tinio replied: “Kung may botohan, tatanungin muna kung may objection at malinaw na may objection.”
[If there’s going to be voting, you should ask if there are objections and it’s clear that there’s an objection.]
In an interview after the session, Castro told reporters that the resolution had already been approved.
“Alam mo naman, mabilis ako,” he said.
[You know I work fast.]
He also explained that he was designated by the duly-elected Speaker of the House as interim majority leader.
“I had the authority to take over the position of the majority leader,” he added. “In fact, that implicitly removed him [Fariñas] from the position.”
In a separate press conference, Castro explained that under the House rules, the Majority Leader shall also become the chairman of the House Committee on Rules.
Rep. Magnolia Antonino also explained that Fariñas was no longer the majority leader because, according to the rules, the voting of the majority leader would follow after the members had voted for the Speaker.
“So hindi po sila nag-participate. Absent po sila. So how can they be considered part of the majority much less po minority leader, kung hindi po sila nag-participate?” she said.
[So they did not participate. They were absent. So how can they be considered part of the majority much less minority leader, if they did not participate?]
“Under our rules, if you do not participate in the vote, you are considered an independent congressman, neither majority, neither minority – independent. And they did not participate po. So how can they be considered either majority or minority?” she added.
Arroyo made her return to power after 184 House members elected her as the new Speaker on Monday night, ending Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez’s two-year grip on the post. /muf /atm
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.