Surigao del Sur’s Pichay defends Arroyo over Batanes caretaker issue
House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was defended Saturday by her ally, Cong. Prospero Pichay, Jr. of Surigao del Sur over her appointment of a legislative caretaker for Batanes province.
Pichay, who is also currently Deputy Speaker of the House, issued astatement reacting to the Liberal Party’s criticism against Arroyo for replacing former Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. with Pangasinan Rep. Rosemary Arenas as Batanes legislative caretaker.
Batanes Rep. Dina Abad, wife of former Budget Secretary Butch Abad, passed away last year, prompting Congress to assign a caretaker for the legislative district.
A statement of Liberal Party President Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan on Friday “condemned” Arroyo’s decision to appoint Arenas as Batanes legislative caretaker as “petty vindictiveness and partisanship.”
“It is sad that right around the first death anniversary of the late Rep. Dina Razon-Abad on Oct. 8, Arroyo chooses to disrespect her memory by imposing upon the people of Batanes a new caretaker without the benefit of any consultation with the Batanes constituents, who gave Abad an overwhelming mandate to represent them in the House of
Representatives for the term 2016-2019,” Pangilinan said.
Pangilinan accused Arroyo of defying House tradition of respecting the nomination of the deceased member’s political party, and listening instead “to a politician that twice had been defeated by Abad in the 2010 and 2013 Congressional elections.”
“It seems Arroyo has not forgotten the active participation of Abad and her husband… in the Party’s campaign to impeach her for cheating in the 2004 presidential elections and hold her accountable for numerous cases of graft and corruption during her almost 10 years in office,” Pangilinan said.
Arroyo was president from 2001 up to 2010, and went on to become Pampanga 2nd District Representative in Congress. She is set to bow out of politics next year when her third term ends.
Pichay, in his statement, called out Pangilinan for “meddling in the affairs of the House of Representatives,” and reminded him of “parliamentary courtesy.”
He also denied there is a tradition in the House regarding the matter, more so, clear cut rules, as “the appointment of the caretaker is lodged upon the Speaker.”
“If I were Pangilinan, I would be very careful about accusing others of vindictiveness because I think the champions of vengeance are the Liberals,” the Mindanao lawmaker said.
“In contrast, now that Speaker GMA is leading the House of Representatives, she has been very fairly treating members of the LP,” he added.(END)
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