By Charissa Luci-Atienza
A congressman said today it would be best for Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez to ask President Duterte directly if he (Alvarez) would continue serving as the House Speaker of the 17th Congress.
“Better for him to ask the President since he will be meeting him later before the SONA,” the congressman said after the House of Representatives adjourned today without ratifying the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) following the brewing talks to oust Alvarez.
The source confirmed that there was an effort to unseat Alvarez.
“I received a text message asking me to support GMA. I verified the message kasi baka mamaya fake news. The text came from Duterte’s camp,” the lawmaker said, disclosing that presidential daughter and Davao Mayor Sara Duterte was exerting effort to remove the Speaker from his post.
It was Pampanga Rep. Juan Pablo Bondoc who moved to adjourn the session at past 12 noon after the one-hour suspension. Deputy Speaker Gwendolyn Garcia approved the motion and banged the gavel amid the protest of Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr., who served as the Budget Secretary during the previous Arroyo administration.
During his speech at the opening of the third regular session, Alvarez said the Bangsamoro Organic Law “will be presented to the President for his consideration.”
“That piece of legislative document is a great leap towards the promise of peace and prosperity, both of which have long eluded the island and the people of Mindanao,” Alvarez said.
When asked to comment on the supposed leadership change and the non-ratification of the BOL, Southern Leyte Rep. Roger Mercado, chairman of the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments, said, “Wala namang ganun,” he said, referring to the leadership change, but he refrained to comment on the reported effort of Davao Mayor to oust Alvarez.
“Our priority is the SONA,” Mercado said.