House reorganization looms after death penalty vote
Former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Batangas Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto are among 11 lawmakers who stand to lose their positions in the House of Representatives for voting against the death penalty bill.
“No replacements in the leadership positions will happen yet,” Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas said on Wednesday.
Fariñas said he pleaded with Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez to allow him to handle the looming shakeup in the 292-seat chamber following the passage on third reading of the bill restoring the death penalty.
Alvarez earlier threatened to replace Deputy Speakers and committee chairs who would not support the measure. “Policy is policy,” Alvarez told reporters on Wednesday. “It is as good as day follows night.”
On Tuesday night, the House passed the death penalty bill on third reading by a 217-54 vote, with one abstention.
Eleven House leaders voted “no,” including Arroyo, a Deputy Speaker, and Recto, chair of the civil service and professional regulation committee.
Among the House leaders who voted against the bill were Evelina Escudero of Sorsogon, Kaka Bag-ao of Dinagat Islands, Jose Christopher Belmonte of Quezon City, Sitti Turabin-Hataman of Amin, Mariano Michael Velarde Jr. of Buhay, Carlos Isagani Zarate of Bayan Muna, Emmi de Jesus of Gabriela and Antonio Tinio of ACT Teachers.
Another “no” vote came from Occidental Mindoro Rep. Josephine Ramirez-Sato, who may also lose her seat on the Commission on Appointments.
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