Party-list representative’s ouster averted

THE absence of a quorum stopped the attempt of the majority bloc in the House of Representatives to oust ABS party-list Rep. Michael Eugene de Vera.

During Tuesday’s session, Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. made a motion to remove De Vera as member of the House because allegedly he was expelled by ABS party-list as its nominee.

Andaya even moved for a break in the on-going budget deliberation to introduce the administrative matter.

But De Vera’s ally, LPGMA party-list Rep. Arnel Ty was quick to stop the motion by questioning the quorum.

According to Ty, he sensed that the intermission from budget debates signaled the introduction of a motion to remove De Vera as congressman.

“I saw former ABS Partylist Rep. Catalina Pizarro in the gallery with a few other House guests. This is unusual,”  Ty  said in an interview.

When Andaya moved to remove De Vera as House member, Ty rose and objected, saying that there was no quorum for the House to conduct business.

De Vera and other solons had questioned the Minority issue before the Supreme Court. Based on their petition, De Vera should be recognized as Minority Leader because he is the only member of the bloc who did not vote for Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo during the ouster move against Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez.

According to Ty,  Minority Leader Danilo Suarez’  group invited De Vera  to return to their bloc but  this was thumbed down by the latter .

De Vera chose to be loyal to the faction of former Speaker Alvarez and former Majority Leader and Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Farinas.

In separate press conference, Suarez denied having a hand in replacing De Vera saying this is an internal decision of the party-list.

Suarez said that some members of the ABS party-list went to his office and complained of De Vera’s incompetence and performance.

“Siya ay member ng party-list. Some members went to me complaining about the performance of De Vera. I did not side with them nor with De Vera. That is political differences, internal, wala kami magagwa diyan,” Suarez said.

New Kabayan rep

Following the death of Kabayan Rep. Ciriaco Calalang, another nominee of the party-list yesterday took his oath as the newest member of the 17th Congress.

Paul Hernandez, the fourth nominee of the party-list, took his oath before Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Hernandez is the Full Gospel pastor with the FREE Mission Philippines churches.

The first nominee of Kabayan party-list is Harry Roque but was appointed as Palace Spokesperson. He was replacedby Calalang.

Two weeks ago, Calalang died due to massive stroke.