No House coup during SONA – Defensor

Published July 17, 2019, 10:18 AM

by Patrick Garcia

By Marjaleen Ramos

Anakalusugan Party-list Rep. Mike Defensor on Wednesday said that there will be no coup d’etat for the House Speakership in this year’s State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Anakalusugan Party-List Rep. Mike Defensor (Mike Defensor FACEBOOK / MANILA BULLETIN/ FILE PHOTO)
Anakalusugan Party-List Rep. Mike Defensor (Mike Defensor FACEBOOK / MANILA BULLETIN/ FILE PHOTO)

“No, I don’t think there will be a coup. I think everyone respects the pronouncement of the President and since last week, they have been fixing the organization of the House,” Defensor said.

The lawmaker said the three camps have already accepted the announcement of President Rodrigo Duterte that it would be Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco under a term-sharing agreement.

In Duterte’s 3rd SONA last year, the nation watched as Congresswoman Gloria Arroyo stripped Pantaleon Alvarez of the speakership post.

Meanwhile, Defensor said Davao City 3rd District Rep. Isidro Ungab will likely maintain his post as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. “He’s been there before. He is highly respected by many of our colleagues.”

He also said that the chairman for the Accounts Committee will be selected by the House Speaker.

Defensor said he did not ask any position. “I just told them that where they see I could function best to help in the legislative agenda, it would be a main advocacy on my part. So that is my only request. I didn’t ask for any position unlike others.”

Defensor also appealed that the House should have a strong chairman for the committee on constitutional amendments in the 18th Congress.

“In Congress, both Senate and in the House, now is really the time if there would be amendments to the constitution.”

“The US Constitution has been amended so many times. But they have done it quietly, without fuss, without the confusion we have now,” he said.

Defensor expressed confidence that the 18th Congress will be able to amend the Constitution after 32 years with the help of the Senate.