House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez revealed that there was no better time for them to launch the coup at the Lower House than President Rodrigo Duterte’s scheduled third State of the Nation Address last Monday, July 23.
In an exclusive interview with DZRH, Suarez said that if they weren’t able to succeed during Monday’s coup, the House of Representatives will not be able to unseat Davao Del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez because they would have lost the momentum already.
Suarez added that they previously presented a manifesto with 157 signatures from fellow lawmakers, but the leadership remained unchanged.
The 3rd district of Quezon representative said that they had to make a move to remove Alvarez from his post as House Speaker.
Meanwhile, Suarez just laughed off reports claiming that lawmakers were paid to vote in favor of former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to take over Alvarez’ post.
On Monday, the SONA was delayed for over an hour after the tension created by the House of Representatives. There was an attempt to unseat Alvarez and Macapagal-Arroyo was event sworn in even without the presence of the House’s Mace.
However, when President Duterte arrived at the Batasang Pambansa Complex, he was greeted by Senate President Vicente ‘Tito’ Sotto and Alvarez.
The President also met with Alvarez and Macapagal-Arroyo separately.
Sotto and Alvarez accompanied the President at the rostrum and Macapagal-Arroyo was missing throughout the President’s SONA.
After the President’s SONA, the lower house reconvened to formally take a vote on the change of leadership.
Suarez also just laughed off claims that lawmakers were allegedly paid to vote in favor of Macapagal-Arroyo taking over the House Speaker post.
In 2016, the Supreme Court granted the plea for Demurrer to Evidence on the plunder case of Macapagal-Arroyo. The former president is facing plunder raps in connection with the alleged anomalous spending of the Php366 million Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office intelligence funds.
Macapagal-Arroyo was in hospital arrest at the Veteran’s Memorial Medical Center for more than five years while her case was being heard.