Pichay defends ‘vindictive’ GMA
HOUSE Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo “has been very fairly treating” members of the Liberal Party (LP), according to House Deputy Speaker Prospero Pichay.
“I cannot understand why [Francisco] ‘Kiko’ Pangilinan, who is a senator, is meddling in the affairs of the House of Representatives. I would like to remind Sen. Kiko of the parliamentary courtesy which we have religiously observed and given utmost importance,” Pichay said in a statement issued on Saturday in apparent defense of Arroyo.
LP President Pangilinan, in a statement titled “LP decries SGMA [Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo] vindictiveness, partisanship in selection of Batanes caretaker” and issued on Friday, said the party condemns the replacement of former House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. as legislative caretaker of Batanes with Pangasinan Rep. Rosemary Arenas.
The statement alleged that it seemed that Arroyo has not forgotten the active participation of thenBatanes lawmaker Henedina Abad and her husband, former Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, in the Liberal Party’s campaign to impeach her.
“As far as I can remember, the appointment of the caretaker is lodged upon the Speaker,” Pichay said, adding that there is no tradition or rule on the appointment.
He said “now that Speaker GMA is leading the House of Representatives, she has been very fairly treating members of the LP. So what vindictiveness is Senator Pangilinan talking about?”
In a statement issued also on Friday, Quezon City Fourth District Rep. Belmonte said, “It is unfair to accuse Speaker GMA of vindictiveness and partisanship. She has a free hand in the choice of caretaker, duly considering the needs of the constituents of the lone legislative district of Batanes and my inability to continue performing my duty as such.”
“Since Speaker MacapagalArroyo has decided not to take on the Speaker’s role of caretaker, I believe it is appropriate for Deputy Speaker Rosemarie Arenas, who represents Northern Luzon, to take on the role,” he added.
REINA C. TOLENTINO