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House Speaker Martin Romualdez and Pampanga 2nd District Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo were photographed sitting side by side, holding their thumbs up during a Christmas party held by Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) on Tuesday, December 5. Was the interaction awkward?
It is currently among the most powerful political parties at the lower chamber, boasting of 89 congressmen in its ranks – some of whom recently jumped ship from the Duterte-led PDP Laban.
Romualdez sits as its president, while Arroyo is its chairperson emeritus.
In a statement on Thursday, December 7, the Office of the Speaker said officials and members came together “to celebrate the season of joy and foster camaraderie.” This comes a month after Arroyo and Davao City 3rd District Representative Isidro Ungab lost their deputy speakership posts after failing to back a resolution that upholds the lower chamber’s integrity on top of pledging continued support for its leadership.
House Majority Leader Manuel Jose Dalipe said this decision “demonstrated that their perspectives differ from the collective stance of the leadership.” Arroyo would later defend her decision by emphasizing that she was out of the country then and reiterated her support for Romualdez.
“If some intriguers were able to convince Speaker Romualdez of the falsehood that I do not support his leadership in the House, then there is nothing I can do,” Arroyo said in a November 8 statement.
Arroyo earlier in May was also ousted from her rank as senior deputy speaker amid talks of a plan to oust Romualdez. While the Speaker did not name anyone in his statements, he said “moves to destabilize the House should be nipped in the bud” days after the brouhaha.
Could there really be nothing there?
Well, they do say that Christmas is also the season of forgiveness. – Rappler.com