ANGELES CITY (3rd update) — In the wake of the political vacillations in the Lower House, one poignant question persisted – who among the other three lawmakers in the Pampanga congressional districts supported Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in her new role as speaker of the House?
At least 184 lawmakers have supported Macapagal-Arroyo in a resolution calling for her leadership in the House that according to them would “sustain the country’s economic growth and secure the safety of the people,”
But who among the other three Pampanga lawmakers – Rep. Jonjon Lazatin (1st Dist.-Pampanga); Rep. Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales (3rd Dist.-Pampanga); and Rep. Rimpy Bondoc (4rth Dist.-Pampanga) — supported Macapagal-Arroyo?
Among the three lawmakers, Gonzales was reportedly among the closest aides of the former president until he vacillated to the Liberal Party, a move that apparently soured their relationship.
Bondoc was the former deputy majority floor leader before Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez was booted out as House Speaker.
Neophyte Rep. Lazatin’s father is a staunch ally of Macapagal-Arroyo. According to a source at Congress, the younger Lazatin and Gonzales have supported Macapagal-Arroyo. iOrbit News tried to reach Bondoc but to no avail.
In a statement, Macapagal-Arroyo said: “I am extremely honored to have been supported by my colleagues at the House of Representatives to be their new Speaker. I will endeavor to carry out the legislative agenda of President Rodrigo Duterte in the Lower House.”
At 71 years old, Macapagal-Arroyo is the first woman and the oldest ever to become House Speaker in Philippine history.
The same source said it was allegedly Bondoc who motioned for the adjourment of the session before the State of the Nation address of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Dapat magkakaroon po kami ng ratification of the Bangsamoro organic law at the same po mag dedeklara po kami vacant ang lahat ng posisyon sa kamara kasama na ang speakership kaya hindi po ito nangyari dahil minadali ang adjourment kahit meron nag object,” the source said.
“Nadisyama ang ating pangulo dahil pipirmahan sana niya sa mismong SONA ang Bangsamoro organic law kung naratapika ito ng Kongreso bago nagsimula ang SONA.
“Ikinagalit din ng marami kongresista dahil itinago diumano ang mace kaya hindi sila kaagad nakapagsimula ng special session pagkatapos ng SONA para pormal na iluklok si CGMA bilang bagong speaker of the House.”
The Mace of the House, which is displayed at the foot of the Speaker’s rostrum whenever the House is in session, is a symbol of authority.
In a resolution signed by the lawmakers, it said the “Duterte administration has reached the mid-point of its term, now more than at any point, is there a need to support the Administration with a pro-active legislative agenda that will safeguard the nation’s economic growth and secure the safety of our people.” 12 lawmakers abstained from voting in the House.
“The House of Representatives and the nation, will benefit from the experience, competence, sobriety, steady and unifying leadership of former President and Representative Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, as speaker of the House of Representatives.
“We believe furthermore, that as many critical issues involving the future structure and framework of our government will need to be discussed very soon, a credible and competent House leadership will be needed to guide and steer the national debate towards a resolution of these pending issues that will strengthen the Republic in the years to come.”
The new House speaker reportedly have the backing of presidential daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio. She was sworn in as new House Speaker on Monday afternoon.