Alvarez concedes speakership to Arroyo

MANILA Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez has conceded the speakership to former president and Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

In a statement issued Wednesday afternoon, Alvarez recognized Arroyo as the new Speaker of the House after 184 lawmakers voted in favor of the latter's speakership.

"We cannot undo the past, but we can certainly shape our future. The House of Representatives has chosen a new Speaker in the person of former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo," Alvarez said.

"Alang-alang sa bayan (For the sake of our nation), let us get back to work and move on," he added.

Earlier in the day, Arroyo and Alvarez met for the first time since the leadership shakeup in the lower chamber.

Arroyo said she is in good terms with her predecessor and both vowed to "continue our good relationship with each other."

Meanwhile, the lower chamber, during Wednesday's session, adopted a resolution formally entering into the House official records that Arroyo was elected as the new Speaker on July 23.

House Resolution 2025 was passed via voice vote amid strong objections from Majority Leader Rodolfo FariAas and ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio.

FariAas argued that the resolution did not go through the House committee on rules, which he chairs. The committee on rules is in charge of the referral of bills and resolution for plenary consideration.

"As of the last session the other day, I am the majority leader of the House of Representatives and the chairman of the House committee on rules. May I know if this resolution passed the committee on rules?" FariAas asked.

"I am the chairman of the committee on rules and I do not know of any such resolution," he added.

Deputy Speaker Rolando Andaya Jr., who presided over Wednesday's session, said the House rules committee members elected Deputy Speaker Fredenil Castro as the interim majority leader, which also makes the latter the panel head.

Based on the resolution, the lower chamber convened on July 23 after President Rodrigo Duterte's third State of the Nation Address to elect a new Speaker of the House pursuant to a manifesto of support signed by a majority of House members. A total of 243 members were present during the said session.

Nueva Ecija Rep. Magnolia Antonino raised the motion to declare the speakership vacant.

The lawmakers then swiftly moved to elect a new leader with Deputy Speaker Raneo Abu nominating Arroyo to become the next Speaker. No other nominations were made.

Arroyo was elected as the new House Speaker after getting a total of 184 votes. Only 12 lawmakers abstained from voting.

The resolution expressed the House's "full and unequivocal support" to Arroyo's leadership.

"The vote of the overwhelming majority of the House Members expressed the trust and confidence given to the newly-elected 21st Speaker of the House of Representatives, the first woman to hold the leadership of the House," the resolution reads. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency