Libre mangarap! Arroyo shrugs off ouster move vs. Andaya
By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN
SAMSUAN, Pampanga – Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Friday shrugged off the supposed ouster plot against House Majority Floor Leader Rolando “Nonoy” Andaya Jr.
Arroyo, during a gift-giving program in Samsuan, Pampanga said most lawmakers belonging to the majority bloc still trust Andaya as their leader.
“Well I don’t know how many congressmen shared that sentiment as far as I can see the majority still supports the incumbent,” she said.
Arroyo’s statement came following the pronouncement of Camarines Sur second district Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte on Thursday that pro-Duterte legislators should already replace Andaya as head of the majority coalition and chair of the powerful committee on rules due to “his non-stop maneuvers to further derail the already-delayed 2019 National Budget.”
Arroyo stressed that she still prefers Andaya to lead the majority bloc in case the threat against him will be formally put into vote in the House plenary by some disappointed colleagues like Villafuerte.
“I am only one vote and I still vote for Nonoy. I exercise democracy, I am open-minded,” she said.
The former President believed that his former Budget Secretary can handle the said ouster plot on his own and stressed that she will not intervene over the internal conflict brewing among some members of the majority.
“I think Nonoy can take care, I am not an interventionist person on political matters. I am selectively hands on,” said the former chief executive.
Villafuerte reportedly insisted that it was now time for the majority coalition that is fully supportive of President Rodrigo Duterte to ask Andaya: “Are you with us or against us?”
Villafuerte, vice-chair of the appropriations panel, s reportedly closed to the previous House leadership under ousted House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.
Alvarez together with Budget Sec. Benjamin Diokno have been subjects of Andaya’s ongoing investigation in connection with billions worth of insertions and ‘parked-funds’ under the proposed 2019 National Budget.
Andaya and Villafuerte are known staunch political rivals in Camarines Sur as the former will be challenging the latter’s son incumbent Gov. Miguel Luis Villafuerte in a heavily-contested gubernatorial race in the province this coming midterm elections.