Aquino ally defends Arroyo amid Alvarez threat

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 11 2017 05:46 AM

MANILA - House Deputy Speaker Miro Quimbo on Friday discouraged House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez from proceeding with his threat to remove from leadership positions congressmen who voted against the death penalty bill.

Quimbo said it is inappropriate to impose the policy on fellow deputy speaker, former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, and the 10 others in leadership positions who voted against the administration priority bill. 

He said Arroyo, who was detained during the previous administration, really has nothing more to be scared of. 

"Sa tingin ko, 'di dapat. Ako, payo ko lang, wala naman ako sa posisyon, pero bilang deputy speaker, tingin ko rin ay may karampatang aksyon dapat. Sa tulad ng isang dating Pangulo, di basta-basta pwede," Quimbo said.

(I think there shouldn't be (impositions). I say, though I'm not in the position, as deputy speaker, I think there should be a policy, but you cannot just impose it on a former President.)

"Di kami magkapartido ni GMA. In fact, ako'y kabahagi ng LP na masasabi nating mortal na kaaway ng dating Pangulo. Tingin ko, bilang dating pangulo, wala sa lugar para ikahon mo siya sa mga ganung klaseng banta dahil malinaw, di matatakot 'yun. Nakulong na nga 'yung tao halos 7 taon, tingin ko, wala siyang aatrasan," Quimbo explained.

(GMA and I do not belong in the same party. In fact, I am part of the LP, which can be said to be a mortal enemy of the former president. I think, as former president, it is inappropriate to put limitations on her. Clearly, she won't be threatened. She has been incarcerated for almost 7 years.)
Qumbo said such a policy does not bode well for the institution.

Meanwhile, Quimbo said the Liberal Party is standing by Congresswoman Josephine Sato, who earlier Friday said that only the LP can remove her from the Commission on Appointments (CA). 

Sato was among those who voted against the death penalty bill.

Quimbo said the CA membership has already been settled by jurisprudence.

"Tututulan namin ang kahit anumang hakbang para palitan ang aming miyembro ng CA dahil naniniwala kami na ito'y karapatan ng LP," Quimbo said.

(We will protest any action to remove LP members from the CA because this is the right of the LP.)

Quimbo said that while leadership positions are the call of the leadership, kicking out leaders because of their vote on the death penalty will be divisive.