Resolving minority row to test Arroyo leadership – Robredo
MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo on Thursday, August 2, said how Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo resolves the minority row will be the test of her leadership in the House of Representatives.
According to the Vice President, this is also Arroyo’s chance to prove cynics wrong that she would be abusing her newfound power – just two years after her acquittal of plunder charges and being freed from a 4-year hospital arrest.
On the sidelines of the turnover of sports equipment at the Salcedo Central Elementary School in Salcedo, Eastern Samar, a reporter asked Robredo if Arroyo’s election as speaker should be a source of concern.
“Ito kasi...mahirap sabihin. Pero ito siguro chance para ipakita na hindi totoo iyong mga allegations before. Kasi, ’di ba, may mga kaso [pero] wala pa naman siyang conviction sa any of the cases?” Robredo said.
(That's difficult to say. But maybe this is a chance [for her] to show that they allegations [against her] were not true. Remember, there were cases before, but she was not convicted in any of those.)
“Sana maging maayos iyong leadership (I hope she leads well),” the Vice President said, especially since Arroyo has little time left to do her job. Arroyo is on her final term as Pampanga congresswoman, and is barred from seeking reelection in May 2019.
Robredo pointed out that leadership can be demonstrated not only in making sure bills are passed.
“Ngayon, iyong inaabangan natin, kung paano niya iha-handle iyong struggle pagdating sa minority. May tatlong grupong nag-aambisyon o nagke-claim na sila iyong minority. Lahat nakatutok kay Speaker kung paano niya ito iha-handle, kasi how she handles it will be reflective of the kind of leadership na gagawin niya sa House of Representatives,” Robredo said.
(What we're closely watching now is how she will handle the struggle for the minority [post]. There are 3 groups that want or claim to be the minority. All eyes are on the Speaker, how she will handle this, because that will be reflective of the kind of leadership she will exercise in the House of Representatives.)
Congressmen from Robredo’s Liberal Party have formed a bloc, claiming they should be the House minority because they didn’t vote for Arroyo as Speaker. There are two other blocs, interpreting rules differently to claim they should be the minority instead: one is headed by former Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas, and the other led by Quezon Representative Danilo Suarez, who had nominated Arroyo for the speakership.
The Vice President said the change in the House leadership was an internal matter that non-members should not meddle with. Leadership changes happen, she said, but she only wished the ouster of former speaker Pantaleon Alvarez should not have been done on the day President Rodrigo Duterte was to deliver his State of the Nation Address.
“Dapat sana iyong atensyon nasa speech ng Pangulo, kasi iyong SONA, okasyon iyon ng Pangulo. Parang naagaw tuloy sa kanya,” Robredo said.
(The attention should have been on the President's speech, because the SONA is the President's event. But [the spotlight] was taken away from him.) – Rappler.com
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