Gloria Arroyo ‘not interested’ to be Speaker

Mara Cepeda
Gloria Arroyo ‘not interested’ to be Speaker
Pampanga 2nd District Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo also denies having talks with Rep. Antonio Floirendo Jr to oust Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez

MANILA, Philippines – Pampanga 2nd District Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said she is not eyeing to replace Davao del Norte 1st District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez as Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Arroyo was asked in an ambush interview on Thursday, April 20 if there was any truth to the rumors that she is considering gunning for the highest post in the House of Representatives. 

“Not interested, not interested,” the former president said.

Rumors in political circles are saying that Davao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Antonio Floirendo Jr is planning to oust Alvarez as Speaker and have him replaced by Arroyo. (READ: Alvarez to his ouster ‘plotters’: ‘Go ahead, make my day’)

Asked if she was approached by Floirendo himself regarding the said rumors, Arroyo only replied with “Wala (No),” before walking away from reporters. 

Alvarez and Floirendo, longtime friends from Davao and both allies of President Rodrigo Duterte, are currently embroiled in a spat after their respective girlfriends fought during the opening of the Masskara Festival last year.

On March 13, Alvarez filed a House resolution calling for a probe into the allegedly anomalous joint venture agreement between the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) and the Tagum Agricultural Development Corporation (Tadeco) owned by Floirendo. 

The Speaker also filed a graft complaint against his longtime friend before the Office of the Ombudsman for having a questionable “business interest” in government while serving as an elected official.

Alvarez, however, already said the complaints he filed against Floirendo have nothing to do with their girlfriends’ feud. 

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said they are already looking into the alleged anomaly in the joint venture agreement between BuCor and Tadeco. 

Apart from the speakership, Arroyo was previously rumored to have been offered to become secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs. But she denied the President offered her any Cabinet post.

Duterte, however, also said he is open to appointing her as head of the consultative committee that will study possible amendments to the 1987 Constitution to pave the way for federalism. – Rappler.com

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.