MANILA - The House of Representatives replaced former President and Pampanga 2nd District Representative Gloria Macapagal Arroyo with Pampanga 3rd District Rep. Aurelio "Dong" Gonzales, Jr. as House Senior Deputy Speaker, citing the burden of the position.
Shortly before adjourning its session on Wednesday night, the House approved twin motions that effectively led for Arroyo to switch positions with Pampanga 3rd District Rep. Aurelio Dong Gonzales, Jr
"Mr. Speaker, I move to elect the Hon. Aurelio Dong Gonzales, Jr Representative of the 3rd District of Pampanga as Senior Deputy Speaker, vice the Honorable Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, I so move Mr. Speaker, " Deputy Majority Leader Iloilo 3rd District Rep. Lorenz Defensor, said during the plenary session.
When the body approved that motion, Defensor moved to elect Arroyo as Deputy Speaker.
"Mr. Speaker, I move to elect the Honorable Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Representative of the 2nd District of Pampanga as Deputy Speaker vice the position vacated by the newly elected Senior Deputy Speaker, Aurelio Dong Gonzales, Jr.," Defensor said.
The plenary session adjourned after approving the motion.
House Majority Leader Manuel Jose Dalipe explained in a statement why the 2 lawmakers switched positions.
"The House of Representatives has elected Deputy Speaker Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales, Jr. as Senior Deputy Speaker to unburden his cabalen, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, of the heavy load required from the position," Dalipe said in a text message issued by his office to reporters.
Arroyo had little to say about the development.
"It's the prerogative of the House," Arroyo said in the one sentence press release issued by her office.
Arroyo was Speaker of the House in the 17th Congress from 2018-2019 after congressmen voted her to replace then Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez. Arroyo is on her 4th non-consecutive term as district representative after serving as the country's chief executive from 2001-2010.
Arroyo is one of the 71 lawmakers in the House of Representatives belonging to Lakas CMD, which has Speaker Martin Romualdez as its party President.
On Tuesday, Romualdez, welcomed and administered the oath to Bukidnon Rep. Jonathan Keith Flores as the party’s 71st House member at the Speaker’s Office in Quezon City.
“I thank Cong. Flores for joining the right political party whose commitment is to work towards a better future for our nation. We are honored to welcome you today as the 71st House member of Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats, a dedicated advocate for positive change,” Speaker Romualdez said in a statement.
Arroyo was present for Flores' oath taking.
“As promised, we continue to grow in support of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s Agenda for Prosperity and socio-economic development roadmap. Let us join together in our drive for meaningful progress in addressing our country's critical issues,” Speaker Romualdez said.
Last February, Romualdez administered the oath to South Cotabato 2nd District Rep. Peter B. Miguel and Laguna 2nd District Rep. Ruth Mariano-Hernandez as the 69th and 70th House members, respectively.
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