MANILA The House of Representatives abruptly adjourned its session on Monday without ratifying the bicameral conference committee report on the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), or the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).
Deputy Majority Leader Juan Pablo Bondoc moved to adjourn the session until 4 p.m. following an hour-long suspension.
Deputy Speaker Gwendolyn Garcia immediately acted on Bondoc's motion despite objection from Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr.
Majority Leader Rodolfo FariAas earlier in the day said the House would ratify the BOL at the opening of the third regular session to pave the way for President Rodrigo R. Duterte to sign the landmark measure into law before he delivers his third State of the Nation Address (SONA) later in the afternoon.
The Senate has already ratified its own version of the BOL.
It was also reported that moves to unseat Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and replace him with Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo were expected to happen during the session.
In an interview following the session adjournment, Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali said Alvarez remains the House Speaker.
"I suppose so, until the position is declared vacant and we make a vote on that, then he stays," Umali said.
When asked if the BOL was set aside just to ensure that Alvarez retains his seat, Umali said the House leadership would rather face the issue head-on rather than sacrifice the chamber's efforts.
"If I know the Speaker... [he] would rather face it head on. Hindi para masakripisyo yung mga pinaghirapan nila (Not to sacrifice what they worked hard for). I don't think they would do that (set aside BOL) just to make room for another day for the Speaker," Umali said.
Umali said the rumored ouster plot against Alvarez did not come from the President's directive.
MalacaAang on Monday said it will not be interfering in any attempt to change the leadership of the House of Representatives after reports on supposed move to oust Alvarez surfaced.
Malinaw po na ang liderato ng kamara ay isang internal na bagay para sa Kamara de Representante at hindi po nanghihimasok ang Malakanyang dyan (It is clear that the leadership of the House is an internal thing and the Palace won't interfere), Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque told a radio interview.
Duterte's allies said the ouster move has the support of the President's daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, who earlier had a spat with Alvarez.
The squabble between Alvarez and Duterte-Carpio started last February when the former called the latter part of the opposition after she formed a regional political party, Hugpong ng Pagbabago. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency