Arroyo, 10 House leaders who opposed death penalty face ax

LEADERS of the House of Representatives who voted "no" to death penalty will be ousted from their top positions when sessions resume after the Holy Week break, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said in a text message on Wednesday.

Alvarez reiterated Wednesday that he will make good his on his threat to remove from top committee post lawmakers who voted against the reimposition of the capital punishment in the country.

Officials holding key committee chairmanships who are set to be ousted include former President and now Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (Pampanga), Vilma Santos-Recto (Batangas), and Josephine Ramirez-Sato (Occidental Mindoro).

Also to be replaced are Evalina Escudero (Sorsogon), Kaka Bag-ao (Dinagat Islands), Jose Christopher Belmonte (Quezon City), and Makabayan bloc lawmakers Emmi de Jesus, Carlos Isagani Zaratea, and Antonio Tinio.

According to Alvarez, the House members will be replaced when the chamber resumes its sessions after the Holy Week break.

Congress will adjourn sessions on March 17 and resumes on May 2.

The House officials will be replaced by members of their own parties, Alvarez said.

"Yes, it will happen after the break. We are just waiting for the nominees from the respective parties," Alvarez said.

Alvarez said the House leaders' removal from their committee chairmanships is their punishment for not supporting one of the priority measures of the Duterte administration.

Voting 217-54, the House approved its version of the controversial measure on their and final reading last March 7.

Of the 54 who voted against the bill, 11 are committee chairs.

The leaders earlier appealed to Alvarez to reconsider his threat to strip House leaders of their key posts as this will end the democracy in the independent legislative body. (SunStar Philippines)

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