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SONA Sideline: CGMA Takes Over as House Speaker while SolGen Calida Grills Robredo

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By: Elena Grace Flores

The supermajority in the Congress votes for CGMA  as the new speaker of the house replacing Cong. Pantaleon Alvarez. This happens before and after the SONA of Philippine President Rodrigo Du30. The power struggle is not only evident in the lower house but also in all branches of the government. It is a puzzle to many that conflicts arise even among the supporters of Du30. However, a certain pattern is obvious. The pro-Marcos stalwarts in the current administration are at work. Take the case of SolGen Jose Calida’s stunt against the 25% notion of Vice President Leni Robredo which is favorable to Bongbong Marcos.






Youtube video by; GMA News

[VIDEO]:  Sa ikatlong pagkakataon mula noong siya’y naupo sa puwesto, nagbigay ng kaniyang State of the Nation Address si Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte kanina. Pero tila naagawan ito ng atensyon ng biglaan at bulagaang pagpapatalsik kay Pantaleon Alvarez bilang Speaker of the House. Ang ipinalit sa kaniya, walang iba kundi ang dating Presidente Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Gayunman, si Alvarez pa rin ang nakaupo sa likuran ng pangulo habang ibinigay nito ang kaniyang SONA.




Coup d’etat at the SONA

Former President and now Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo vows to push for the legislative agenda of the Du30 administration in the House of Representatives after she was elected overall head of the chamber. “I am extremely honored to have been supported by my colleagues at the House of Representatives to be their new Speaker,” said Arroyo in a short statement. “I will endeavor to carry out the legislative agenda of President Rodrigo Duterte in the Lower House,” she said.




Dramatic Takeover

The SONA row was the culmination of months of speculation about a possible plan to oust Alvarez. Arroyo’s takeover took place in a muted affair. The audio was unceremoniously cut just when Deputy Speaker Rolando Andaya announced around 3:30 p.m. that a majority of the House, 161, had voted for the leadership change.

Alvarez’s Vested Interests

The ousted speaker becomes unpopular because of his firm stand in various issues. He even has a rift with the Presidential daughter after he calls her an opposition. Aside from being the line of succession for the VP post,  he is also a possible contender for Prime Minister if the Federalism change pushes through. These are taken by the loyalists as vested interests thus explaining his disagreement over the President’s alliance with the Marcoses. Cong. Alvarez earlier flaunts also his affair despite remaining legally married to his wife.









SolGen Calida as the President’s Implementor

Solicitor General Jose Calida is instrumental in the ouster of Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. He apparently leaves the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to defend itself in the ongoing vice presidential electoral protest. Though he files a manifestation backing the 50% ballot shading threshold that favors the interest of former senator Bongbong Marcos. The Office of the Solicitor General urges the Presidential Electoral Tribunal to junk Vice President Leni Robredo’s appeal to apply the 25 percent threshold. This is to determine the validity of votes in the ongoing vice presidential election recount.




The SolGen’s Legal Basis

The OSG said that in vice presidential elections, it is the PET that has “the sole authority to judge all contests” and the Comelec has no jurisdiction over the case. Calida cited Section 4, Article VII of the Constitution that provides that the PET has exclusive jurisdiction over election contests relating to the president or vice president. Vice President Leni Robredo’s lawyer Romulo Macalintal says Solicitor General Jose Calida’s ‘erroneous’ support of the 50% shading threshold would ‘erode the very foundation of our democracy’ by disenfranchising voters. They are questioning why Calida is siding Marcos.

 




One thought on “SONA Sideline: CGMA Takes Over as House Speaker while SolGen Calida Grills Robredo

  1. Who is in the right mind that a 25% shading be imposed while a clear instructions with all the detailed error unacceptable shading before the election and during the election.
    There is no ground to implement a 25% except for siding irregularities and unlawful works in the ballots.

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