Ungab’s ouster not an affront to Sara Duterte’s party
MANILA, Philippines — The decision to remove Davao Rep. Isidro Ungab as chairman of the House appropriations committee was not an affront against Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-led Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) party.
This was the defense of Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on the move to replace HNP member Ungab by ACT-CIS Rep. Eric Yap, adding that working with Ungab had been “untenable.”
HNP earlier slammed the ouster as “grossly unacceptable” and “disadvantageous to the Duterte administration’s reform agenda.”
“Nirerespeto ko ‘yung statement. ‘Yung partido na ‘yun ay napakaimportanteng partido sa koalisyon… But it is in no way a move against the party,” Cayetano told reporters in an interview on Wednesday.
(I respect the statement as the party is an important one in the coalition. But it is in no way a move against the party.)
“The reason sa pagtanggal ni Chairman Sid is simple lang: untenable working relationship – meaning, ‘yung working relationship, hindi na productive. So I will just leave it at that,” he added.
(The reason behind Ungab’s ouster is simple: untenable working relationship — meaning it is no longer productive. So I will just leave it at that.)
In his remaining time as Speaker, Cayetano said he wants to “do his best” so the working relationship should be good.
However, the HNP snapped back, saying that the ouster was an “insult and affront” not to the party but to President Rodrigo Duterte.
“He (Ungab) was specifically chosen by President Duterte as chairman of the committee and the last time we checked, the President never ordered the removal of Ungab,” the HNP said in a statement.
“If anything, the removal was an insult and affront to the President — and not to the party,” the party added.
It further said that it does not want to “spar” with Cayetano but instead will “sit and watch his show.”
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