Minority leadership row a test for Speaker Arroyo: LP solon

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 31 2018 10:21 AM | Updated as of Jul 31 2018 10:22 AM

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MANILA -- Settling the power struggle within the House minority is an opportunity for Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to "show her wares," a Liberal Party lawmaker who is gunning for the minority leadership said Tuesday.

A group led by Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez, which seeks to retain their status as the minority, is "fraudulent" because 14 of its 17 members voted for Arroyo as speaker, said Marikina Rep. Miro Quimbo of the LP.

"They voted for you, how can you ask them, recognize them na kayo na ang oposisyon. How can you allow that? How can GMA (Arroyo) allow it? I am sure she will not allow it," he told ANC's Headstart.

"I really think that with all the bric-a-brac that she received in the last 9 years, I think this is an opportunity for her to show her wares, her intelligence, her leadership—the kind of GMA that we knew in 1995, 1998. I think this is a wonderful opportunity," he said.

Former President Arroyo assumed the top post in the House last July 23, in a nationally-televised tug-of-war with then Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez that delayed President Rodrigo Duterte's State of the Nation Address.

Quimbo said it might be "too late" to ask the Supreme Court to intervene. He cited a 2016 Supreme Court ruling that upheld Suarez as minority leader, rejecting questions raised by Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat.

Members of the LP and the left-wing Makabayan bloc at the House of Representatives joined forces and branded themselves real minority, with Quimbo at the helm.

Quimbo said his group has 22 members as of Monday, with 4 more to be added.

"I think the remedy lies within the House. I’ve seen the House transform into what it is today—it’s a freight train: there’s no opposition, there’s no debate, no discussion," he said.

On Monday, Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. was named majority leader as the House reorganized with Arroyo as speaker.