House Deputy Speaker confirms ‘oust Alvarez’ plot

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Cebu Representative Gwen Garcia confirms caucus on change of leadership issue


QUEZON CITY, Philippines — Rumors are circulating on the sudden shift in House Speakership today (July 23) hours before President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his third state of the nation address (SONA).

House sources said Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo would be sitting as the House Speaker in this afternoon’s SONA replacing Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.

House Deputy Speaker Gwendolyn Garcia confirmed in an ambush interview in the Lower House that the change in house leadership was briefly touched during an all-members caucus today before the opening of the third and last session of the 17th Congress.

“That’s on the floor, that will all be decided by the each of the congressmen kung kakailanganin. If there will be, then I’m sure may mag-o-object if there would be a move to oust the Speaker. I guess each congressman will have to decide for himself or herself,” said Garcia.

Garcia added that “We were of one mind that this has really been the most active Congress yet, and of course you have to attribute that to the leadership. It’s all about each congressman’s take on how this present Congress is being led.”

Reports said it was the House minority group led by Quezon Representative Danilo Suarez as the proponent of the move in the plenary today.

Davao Del Norte 2nd District Representative Tony Bboy Floriendo denied being behind the ouster move. Floriendo is known for having rifts with Alvarez. – Grace Casin / Marje Pelayo

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