Arroyo’s demotion confirms that she was suspected of plotting vs. Speaker Romualdez, lawmaker says

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 22) — The demotion of former President and Pampanga 2nd District Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo from senior deputy speaker shows that she has been suspected of plotting against the leadership of the House of Representatives, a lawmaker said on Monday.

“The title of senior deputy speaker is considered honorific but it is clothed with trust and respect befitting a former president and a former speaker of the House. Consequently, stripping GMA unceremoniously of such title carries with it loss of trust and respect bestowed to an ally,” Albay 1st District Rep. and Liberal Party president Edcel Lagman told CNN Philippines’ The Source.

During the session on May 17, the House elected Pampanga 3rd District Rep. Aurelio "Dong" Gonzales Jr. to replace Arroyo as senior deputy speaker. She was named deputy speaker. 

House Majority Leader Manuel Jose Dalipe said Gonzales was elected to "unburden" Arroyo "of the heavy load required from the position."

Arroyo has denied reports linking her to an alleged ouster plot against House Speaker Martin Romualdez.

She admitted initially eyeing the speakership when Ferdinand Marcos Jr. won the presidential race. However, she said she later saw the “wisdom” in having Romualdez – the chief executive’s cousin – as leader of the House.

Romualdez broke his silence on Sunday, saying “[t]here is still much work to do, so occasional moves to destabilize the House should be nipped in the bud.”

He also guaranteed that “[t]he House of the People is in order.”

Lagman said he agrees to this declaration as the majority of the members of the House have expressed their support for the speaker.

However, the opposition leader said he believes Romualdez should elaborate on the reason behind Arroyo’s demotion.

“I think there is a need for the speaker to say some more on this demotion and the reasons why the suspicion was made,” he noted. “I think the story has not ended and we must be given the accurate detailed facts of this upheaval.”