MANILA, Philippines – Two days after the coup in the House of Representatives, new Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo initiated a meeting with her ousted predecessor, Davao del Norte 1st District Representative Pantaleon Alvarez, where they vowed to sustain their "good relations."
Pampanga 3rd District Representative Aurelio Gonzales Jr served as the bridge between Arroyo and Alvarez. He said it was Arroyo who initiated the meeting on Wednesday, July 25.
Arroyo told CNN Philippines that she and Alvarez vowed to “continue our good relations with each other.”
Asked if Alvarez told her he was willing to work with her, Arroyo said, "I would think so."
She refused to disclose other details of her meeting with the former speaker.
Arroyo now leads the House of Representative after her allies moved to declare the speakership vacant and nominated her as the sole candidate for the post on Monday, July 23, the same day ofPresident Rodrigo Duterte’s 3rd State of the Nation Address (SONA).
The SONA itself was delayed for an hour because of last ditch efforts from the Alvarez bloc to deter his ouster. The ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law was also delayed by a day.
In the end, Arroyo prevailed, securing 186 votes for her speakership. Only 12 abstained.