Arroyo, 10 anti-death penalty solons to be removed from House posts in May
MANILA — All 11 House leaders who voted against the death penalty bill, including former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, will be replaced when it resumes session after the Holy Week break, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez has just announced after days of indecision.
The lone Commission on Appointments (CA) member, Occidental Rep. Josephine Ramirez-Sato, will not be spared from the looming revamp nor will 10 lawmakers holding key committee chairmanships, including Batangas Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto, according to Alvarez in his text message to reporters on Wednesday.
The replacements would come from the leaders’ own parties which would be nominate the replacements to the House leadership, Alvarez said.
The Speaker said the revamp in the 292-seat chamber would take place after the Holy Week break.
“Yes, it will happen after the break. We are just waiting for the nominees from the respective parties,” Alvarez said.
The House is poised to adjourn Wednesday night and resume legislative work on May 2.
The 11 House leaders, including Arroyo, a Deputy Speaker, defied the administration stand by voting against the measure.
Nine committee chairs, including 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.
The chamber voted 217-54, with one abstention, to pass the bill on third reading.
The House leadership was criticized for its hesitation in carrying out Alvarez’s threat to strip the anti-death penalty lawmakers of their posts.
Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas initially said he asked the Speaker to allow him to handle the matter, but after a caucus of majority members, decided to send the ball back on Alvarez’ court. SFM
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.