MANILA - Despite a shakeup in the House leadership, Davao Del Norte 1st District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez took his place at the rostrum of the House of Representatives ahead of the third State of the Nation Address of President Duterte.
This, despite an alleged change in leadership in the House, with Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo being installed as the new Speaker before the SONA.
Rep. Miro Quimbo said at least 161 congressmen voted for Arroyo as the new Speaker. Arroyo, who is on her last term as congresswoman, is the first former president to lead the House.
Alvarez’s allies allegedly tried to stop his removal as Speaker by abruptly adjourning the opening session, which also led to the House’s failure to ratify the Bangsamoro Organic Law before the President’s third SONA.
“Hindi naman sinet aside [ang BOL] but it was overtaken by intramurals within the administration coalition,” Akbayan Party-list Rep. Tom Villarin told reporters.
Alvarez's removal came after a public spat with President Rodrigo Duterte's daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
Duterte-Carpio had slammed Alvarez for allegedly calling her a part of the opposition when she formed a separate regional political party. Alvarez denied this, saying the mayor's new party was a "non-issue."