Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was formally elected as Speaker roughly 12 hours.
Former Speaker Bebot Alvarez opened the third session of the 17th Congress but it was former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who closed one of the most bizarre 12 hours in Philippine politics.
Arroyo was formally installed as the new Speaker of the House after 238 House members stayed on after President Rodrigo Duterte ended his less than an hour State of the Nation Address at 6 p.m. on July 23 at Batasan.
With Arroyo loyalists Rolando Andaya and Fredenil Castro directing the proceeding, 184 members finished what they started by formally electing the Pampanga representative as the new Speaker.
Nueva Ecija Rep. Magnolia Antonino moved to declare the Speaker position vacant while Deputy Speaker Raneo Abu nominated Arroyo to replace Alvarez.
The proceedings took more than two hours as it took some time before the sound system was restored and the mace – the symbol of the House authority – was returned to formalize the voting:
— Rowena L. Salvacion (@wengsalvacion) July 23, 2018