House ends minority leadership row, retains Suarez

Font Size

House of Representatives

By Charmaine A. Tadalan

The House of Representatives on Tuesday, Aug. 7, ended weeks-long conflict among factions seeking to be officially recognized as the minority bloc.

Voting viva voce, Deputy Speaker Fredenil H. Castro ruled the “ayes” outnumbered the “nays” on the motion to recognize Quezon Rep. Danilo E. Suarez as Minority Leader.

There were objections being made amid Majority Leader Rolando G. Andaya, Jr.’s motion, but none were recognized.

“We are in the process of voting and there can be no disturbance, so may we ask that the Speaker proceed with the ‘ayes’ and ‘nays’,” Mr. Andaya said.

Minority leader aspirants Rep. Romero S. Quimbo and Eugene Michael B. de Vera as well as the members of their team were unable to air their objections until after the vote had been declared official.

For his part, Mr. Quimbo asserted his position that Mr. Suarez cannot be acknowledged as the minority leader.

“This representation would like to put on record our continuing objection to the recognition of Congressman Danilo Suarez for Minority Leader for simply being illegal, not in due course and at the same with direct violation of the Supreme Court decision enunciated on the 25th of July 2017, on the case of Baguilat vs. Alvarez,” the Solon said.

“We will take the necessary recourse where it is needed so as to bring order to this House,” he added.

Vice President Maria Leonor G. Robredo echoed the question on the legality of the chamber’s decision.

Malinaw itong paglabag sa mga patakaran ng Kamara,” Mr. Robredo said in a statement, issued Tuesday. (This is a clear violation of House rules)

Paano maaasahan ang independence ng ganitong uri ng ‘Minority’ na binuo, hindi ayon sa takdang paraan, kundi dahil sa pahintulot ng mayorya?” she also said, noting the decision further weakened democracy in the country. (How can we rely on the independence of a ‘Minority’ constituted, not in the way it should be, but due to the consent of the majority?)