It’s finally over! The new House Speaker is Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo after 184 lawmakers out of 244 who attended Monday night’s session voted for her to replace beleaguered Davao del Norte 1st District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez.
The former president was first installed as Speaker Monday afternoon in a dramatic coup de etat while Alvarez was outside the plenary hall waiting for the arrival of President Rodrigo Duterte who was set to deliver his third State of the Nation Address.
But to the surprise of many, it was Alvarez who joined President Duterte and Senate President Vicente Sotto III at the rostrum. Insiders revealed that Alvarez refused to budge in to the majority decision of the Lower House that caused the delay of the Sona for more than an hour.
Rep. Macapagal-Arroyo decided to give way for the time being and allow Alvarez to perform his last official act as Speaker.
After the Sona, the majority again called for a session that was attended by 244 congressmen. The majority ratified the election of Rep. Arroyo as the new House Speaker thereby officially unseating Alvarez as the fourth most powerful official of the country and installing Arroyo as the first woman House Speaker.
Speaker Arroyo was sworn in around nine in the evening of July 23.