Not just a threat: House revamp will still happen, says Speaker
The reorganization in the House of Representatives is still going to happen — but at their own sweet time, according to Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez.
Responding to criticisms that his threat to replace 11 House leaders who voted “no” to the death penalty bill was just bluster, Alvarez insisted a revamp was still in order in the 292-seat chamber.
“It will definitely push through but at our own [pace] not at the [pace] of a tyrannical and noisy minority,” he said in a text message to the Inquirer.
Asked if all or only some of the House leaders would be replaced, Alvarez said: “I already entrusted the matter to Majority Leader [Rodolfo] Fariñas.”
On Thursday, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, a leader of an opposition bloc, reproached the House leadership for apparently softening its threat of reprisal against lawmakers who voted against the administration measure restoring the death penalty.
“The threat of Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez to oust those who would vote against the death penalty bill from their key leadership positions has turned out to be a mere scheming braggadocio,” he said in a statement.
On Wednesday, Fariñas said there would be no immediate reorganization of key leadership positions in the House after he pleaded with Alvarez to let him handle it.
No timeframe was given as to when the leadership revamp would take place.
The 11 House leaders, including former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, a Deputy Speaker, defied the administration stand by voting against the measure.
Nine committee chairs, including Batangas Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto, Sorsogon Rep. Evelina Escudero, Dinagat Islands Rep. Kaka Bag-ao, Quezon City Rep. Jose Christopher Belmonte, and Makabayan lawmakers Emmi De Jesus, Carlos Isagani Zarate, and Antonio Tinio, also voted no.
One member of the Commission on Appointments also thumbed down the bill — Josephine Ramirez-Sato of Occidental Mindoro.
The chamber voted 217-54, with one abstention, to pass the bill on third reading on Tuesday night.
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.